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work stoppage. that's why we have few work stoppages in railroads and airlines. if there's a national emergency, the president gets an 80-day cooling off period while they try to resolve the dispute. under the labor -- the railway labor act it's a 60-day period. under the railway labor act, there's a committee that makes recommendations to parties telling them how to resolve the dispute whereas rn the taft-hartley act the commission can find the facts but may not make reck mentalations. dmb recommendations. . caller: thank you for laying that out for us. in the 1980's i worked in a company, we repaired railroad yards, railroad track. railroad tie fell on my foot and i never claimed anything. over the years. now i got to wear a big shoe on my left foot and it's causing me problems.
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do i have any recourse? guest: assuming it was as you said you were working you would have been covered under workers' compensation law in the state where you were working. normally you have a statute of limitations period where you have to file a claim. sometimes if you have an injury that you don't think will actually inhabit your ability to work and it develops over a long period of time, you can file a claim within a reasonable period after it changes to that level. i would contact your state workers' compensation authority and see if you might be able to raise the claim that would cover your medical expenses and your diminution in earnings. host: george, wichita, kansas, independent line. go ahead with your question or comment. caller: thank you. good morning, professor. a quick comment before i give you my question. i and i think most americans do not believe that two wrongs, three wrong, eight wrongs make a
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right. and the fallback on collisions -- politicians is that prior presidents did this, prior parties did this or that. what we do, even though it may be wrong, is right. point of clarification on recess appointments. president obama as others have have made recess appointments. but the constitution as i understand it says those vacancies that he is filling must have occurred during that recess period. the appointments obama made, they were already vacant. he he chose an opportunity when congress was technically adjourned, not in a formal recess, to appoint people without due process when those vacancies did not occur during a recess. therefore they should be thrown out. and the process should go forward as the constitution indicates. thank you.
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guest: george, can i ask why -- have you been following this issue? and why is it one of interest to you? george? caller: since i have retired i have rededicated myself to my country, my constitution, -- constitution. i have read it, i have studied it. i have done a lot of research. my grandchildren i have educated on the constitution. the founders' original documents so that they can understand how our country is built, why it became the greatest experiment in human freedom the world has ever known. and they could better form their opinions of what they hear on knowledge rather than propaganda. guest: thank you, sir. host: what's your answer? guest: i would say historically even where there have been vacancies presidents have made recess appointments and that's gone back and forth through
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republicans and democrat presidents. what makes this difficult is i agree with you. i think there was substantial doubt whether there actually was a senatorial recess at the time he made these appointments. if that's true they weren't valid appointments. had he to go through the appointments process. as i said earlier what he should have done is sat down with the republican leadership in the senate and try to come up with a list, many presidents have done this also in the past. he doesn't bargain very well with congress. i don't know why. he's very detached in that regard. but president obama needs to sit down with the leaders, come up with a group of four names, two acceptable republicans, and two acceptable democrats and the republicans have to make sure they are not too far to the right and democrats not too far to the left. and the senate would approve them. host: clarksburg, west virginia, this is spence. go ahead. caller: this makes the george washington university look awfully good. he's very smart. you should have him back.
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he's very knowledgeable. i would like for him to address how state workers sometimes they do the federal jobs and many -- in many regards. the state have them do -- your disabled. some of your welfare. things that are federally chartered. i'd like for you to address those two issues together there. and then i would like to ask also -- some people are required to do training. this person is taking the same training is not a college degree person, but they have to do the same job that's the college person with the degree. that person is now not paid the same. however the person with the 15 years' experience has to train different people because the college people that make that money is always looking for a better amount of money. so you have a turnover and you
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have the steady employee who is there every day not receiving that type of pay. what's the scrings line on that -- discrimination line on that snill' listen to your answer. guest: take the second question first. it's very common for people to train new workers and there is nothing that says i can't defer college people over noncollege people. there is no formal discrimination there based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age. the only thing someone might be able to claim is there are more college graduates who are nonminority than minority and you might be able to argue there's discrimination. that's the type of thing i think a court would find perfectly appropriate. it goes on all the time. so often if i have a job that i'm really skilled in that job but i don't have the background to move to the higher position, they bring in someone i have to train to be able to do my level of work and then they get a higher salary, they get bumped up to the higher positions and i stay where i am. that's very common.
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unfortunately it's not illegal. the first question you ask is about state people doing federal work. so many of the federal statutes give money to the states, different welfare provisions, different unemployment compensations under the unemployment tax, which is a federal tax, but the states run those services subject to certain minimum requirements. where you work for the state formally, are you a state employee which means if you're going to have a union or you're going to have any rights it will be as a state employee not a federal employee. and that's critical because state employees often have broader rights, sometimes they have narrower rights. but if you have federal funding and it goes to the states and the states then carry out that funding to a state agency, you're a state employee. host: professor, wild and wonderful sense in this tweet, the national labor relations act was a reasonable compromise to keep the wheels of commerce turning. it was later mitigated a bit by the lmra.
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guest: the taft-hartley act. and the disclosure act of 1969. what happened was senator wagner, the national industry recovery act was passed in 1933. in title 7 actually authorized the labor board and certain labor rights at that time because it was during the height of the depression. and senator wagner was asked to be head of the labor board even though he was a senator. he realized how unequal the situation was during the depression, so when the supreme court struck down the constitutionality of the national industry recovery act, he then proposed what became the national labor relations act. it was actually a very liberal law in the sense that at that time workers had no rights outside the railroad industry. they had no right to organize. if you said i want a union, if i were your employer i could fire you. i didn't have to listen to you. that act really established the right of workers and labor organizations to organize those
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workers and engage in collective bargaining. that gave workers finally some very significant rights. the biggest right that unions actually provide isn't simply wages and benefits, it's the fact that you cannot be disciplined under union contract except for just cause, and they can take it to labor arbitration before someone like myself if they think the discipline was inappropriate. a nonunion work i can fire you at any time for any reason. what happened after that is congress became more conservative and the american employers were more conservative, so they induced the taft-hartley act which was passed over the veto of then president truman, and then in 1959 the lmrda in both those statutes, the 1947 act finally unlabor practice by unions because there were no unfair labor practices by unions between 1935 and 1947, and they refined that further in 1959. host: the national labor relations board protects
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employee rights to improve wages in working conditions. the board has five members. acts as quieso judicial body. appointed by the president for five-year terms. senate consent with 28 regional field offices. the current budget has come down over the last couple years, but the current budget of the nlrb, $238 million. and c dog tweets in, are the regional labor arbitration boards part of the nlrb? guest: no, the labor board doesn't have arbitration. when i'm an arbitrator, i'm using a point either under the arm tration rules and the parties simply pick their own arbitrator. the local people are both part of the board and the general counsel, they investigate charges and decide whether the issue of complaint, if they issue a complaint they also conduct election that is are conducted very carefully. they don't arbitrate. then they have a separate group of administrative law judges who
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are totally independent even though they are employed by the labor board and they -- >> you can see the house every morning. can you see "washington journal" every morning here on c-span. the u.s. house is in recess until 1:30 eastern when members return they will continue working on a bill that would continue a pay freeze for federal workers. it's been in effect since 2010. president obama issued an executive order allowing a half percent pay increase which would get under way march 27. and can you see live coverage of the house when members return. again that will be at 1:30 eastern right here on c-span. short time ago house speaker john boehner held his weekly briefing answering reporters' questions. here's a look. >> happy valentine's day. in two weeks we'll haval storied
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ceremony here in the united states capitol. the house and senate leaders will gather to unveil a statue of civil rights icon rosa parks. this will be the first statue of a african-american woman to be placed here in the capitol. and i can't think of a more fitting honor for a great american hero who still inspires us all. on tuesday the president laid out his agenda, and it's one i largely disagreed with. admittably i think it lacked any new ideas. hope to the millions of americans still asking the question, where are the jobs? it was largely more of the same. more tax hikes, more stimulus spending. and the president-elected to attack congress but if he's serious about enacting his agenda, i think he must start with a part of this congress that his party controls, the united states senate. what can they get passed in the united states senate? the president wants to impose a
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national cap and trade energy tax. i would hope that senate democrats would take it up. the president wants more stimulus spending. i would expect the united states senate to take it up. the president wants more tax hikes that destroy jobs, then his democrat allies in the senate ought to take it up. this isn't the agenda that many americans are looking for. and i think many in the president's own party won't support those ideas. in the house we'll continue to focus on what the american people's top priorities are, creating jobs and cutting spending. for the last two years the house has done its work. we have passed legislation to tackle the tough challenges that america faces only to see our senate colleagues do nothing. well, those days are over. the house will continue to meet our obligations, but the senate democrats must begin to do their work.
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that's why we passed the no budget, no pay act requiring the senate to pass a budget for the first time in four years. and that's why we are going to insist that they finally pass a plan to replace the president's sequester. this sequester was the president's idea. his party needs to follow through on their plans to replace it. with that i answer your questions. >> speaker boehner, senate democrats are going to unveil their plan today to avert the sequester for 10 months with a mix of spending cuts and subsidies in defense, would you rather see the sequester kick in than accept a deal that includes some new tax revenue? >> if the senate passes a plan we'll look at it. until they pass a plan there is no reason for me to comment on what they'll do or not do.
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>> speaker boehner, former senator chuck hagel is at rick of being filibustered in the senate. it would be the first time in the history of the united states that a national security appointee would be filibustered. do you think it's appropriate our republican colleagues in the senate filibuster his nomination? >> i remind unand mr. russert this is the house side, we are not involved in senate nomination fights. can you ask the senate -- >> do you have an opinion on it, mr. speaker? your republican colleagues are leading the charge. >> you noted that the house has passed legislation to replace the sequester, that legislation expired at the end of the 112th congress. if the senate does pass a bill it will have -- how will the house handle it if you don't have a bill -- >> we passed a bill twice to replace the see quers. our position is very clear. we have outlined it. it's up to the senate to do
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their work. if they are willing to pass a bill, we'll find some way to work with them to address this problem. i have made a -- it perfectly clear the sequester -- don't like it. no one should like it. but the sequester is there because the president insisted that it be there. where's the president's plan to replace the sequester that he insisted upon? >> the senate passed by a wide margin the violence against women act. what's your timeline? people are calling for you to bring up this version. >> continuing to work with the committee of jurisdiction, looking at finding ways to deal with this legislation. we are fully committed, doing everything we can to protect women in our society. i expect the house will act in a timely fashion in some way. no decision has been made about
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how we -- whether we take up the senate bill or move a version of our -- our own version of the bill. it may or may not. >> your message this morning about the senate going first on the president's agenda extend to immigration? or will the house move on its own bill? >> there's a -- you heard me say there is bipartisan talk, talks under way both in the senate and in the house. i have done everything i can to try to encourage those bipartisan conversations continue. i don't think no decision has been made who should go first. i think we are way too far down the road. there are a lot of issues that we have to deal with. our border is not secure. the ability of our government to enforce the law is -- has its share of problems as well. there are a number of issues that have to be resolved here.
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and so let's not get too far down the road. i want my colleagues to continue to work together to see if they can't come to a solution that's acceptable here in the house. >> mr. speaker, you mentioned jobs. what did you think of the president's proposal to fix it now, put people back to work repairing the nation's infrastructure? >> as you are all well aware i have worked very diligently over the last couple years to try to grapple with our infrastructure problems here in america. the problems we have are chiefly one of resources. and still trying to find a funding source to repair the nation's infrastructure is still a big goal of mine. the president talked about infrastructure, he hasn't talked about how to pay for it. it's easy to go out there and be
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santa claus and talk about the things you want to give away, but at some point somebody has to pay the bill. i pushed mr. shuster, the new chairman of our house transportation and infrastructure committee, to work on this issue. i'm committed to working, to find a funding source so we can begin to repair america's aging infrastructure. >> mr. speaker, you don't like the sequester and you have made that clear, if it goes into effect at the end of the month, how do you handle what will in effect be treated by many, many of your republican members as the new baseline and the c.r. following immediately on that? it seems when the sequester goes into effect, apart from the cuts that will take place, enormously complicates your ability to agree with democrats over basic spending bills just a couple of weeks later. if the sequester goes into effect, will that be the new spending baseline you'll operate off of? or will you treat that as
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temporary? >> i'll do the same thing i told my republican colleagues, the sequester will be in effect until there are cuts and reforms that put us on a path to balance the budget over the next 10 years. period. [inaudible] >> i told senator reid this morning the same thing i told you. pure and simple. even though you spoke up before i called you on, i'll call on you because you have been patient. >> the president promised would he take executive action on climate change unless -- if congress doesn't pass something. are house republicans going to block him from doing that? >> i don't know what actions the president thinks he can take.
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i don't think he has the ability to impose a national energy tax on americans without the authority of congress. he may attempt to do this, but i'm not sure how much he can really do. >> mr. speaker, what do you think about hal rogers' display to include -- >> there are a lot of options for highways in the continuing resolution. no decisions have been made about how to do that or when to do that. thank you. >> what did you get mrs. boehner for valentine's day? >> house members begin legislative work in about 10 minutes. 1:30 eastern. one bill, a bill to continue the federal worker pay freeze through this year. the freeze has been in effect since 2010, but president obama issued an executive order to
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allow a half percent pay increase starting march 27. today's bill would override that executive order. ahead of this afternoon's rule debate, we spoke to a capitol hill reporter for a preview. >> congress for roll call, joining us from capitol hill, why are house republicans eager to pass a bill that would freeze federal employee pay for another year? >> republicans are eager to pass this bill, another gesture, another way to show that they are leaders in the campaign to cut spending. they are leading by example. where the pay freeze bill not only overturns december, 2012, executive order from the white house that would end the current pay freeze that's been going on for two years, in this bill it also includes a moratorium on pay freezes for members of
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congress themselves. >> how much money do they estimate that this bill would save? >> they estimate it would save about $11 billion over 10 years. >> you talked about the executive order from the white house in december. tell us more about that. what did it say and why did the president issue it? >> the federal work force has already been under a two-year pay freeze in 2010 congress passed a bill that would put that moratorium in place. republicans have since last year tried to expend that measure. it was never taken up by the senate. they want to try again, especially in light of the sequester where they feel that we can't afford to be spending any more money when we are already going to be taking these cuts, assuming we can't find -- the congress cannot find the solution for these looming automatic spending cuts. >> so in a way it seems the
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white house is trying to beat the house republicans to the punch in effect by issuing that order in december. >> exactly. well, i should say what the white house was trying to do is from their perspective the federal government has already been punished enough over the past two years shouldering the burden of deficit reduction. and the obama administration deemed it appropriate to give them even a small increase. in order to make the government more attractive for recruitment, for retention. as a thanks, i suppose, for the hard, tireless work of the civil service. >> in the house who are are the primary opponents, what are their arguments? >> democrats are mostly united here saying we shouldn't be asking federal workers to shoulder more of this burden. the tough thing about this bill is that will it is paired with a moratorium on salary increases
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for members of congress themselves. democrats are calling this a ploy from republicans to force them to vote for this less they be accused back home of voting against giving themselves a raise. >> and assuming passage this week of this federal pay freeze bill in the house, what are the prospects in the senate? >> it's unlikely the senate would take this up as a stand alone bill. there are certainly members of the senate on the republican side of the aisle who would like to pass this bill. they could do it as an amendment to -- what's more likely to happen if this bill does get enacted into law is that it would be through the continuing resolution that congress has to pass when our current bill funding expires on march 27 and we need to float ourselves
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through to the end of fiscal 2013. the white house says they oppose this bill but didn't offer a veto threat last night. >> you can follow her reporting at thanks for the update. >> thank you. >> after president-elect andrew jackson's wife died in december of 1828, her niece, emily donaldson, assumed the role of first lady. >> emily was perfect. for all the negatives washington had to say about andrew jackson, they loved emily. and she sort of covered everything. she was the women all liked her. and as it happened, the women's opinions meant more than people thought in washington. but she -- emily became the -- his acting first lady. she entertained beautifully. she was polished. some people thought she's from the country. she knew exactly how do things. >> emily donaldson, one of the
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women who served as first lady in c-span's new series, "first ladies, influence and image. in a first of its kind project tore television, season one begin this is monday, presidents' day, at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific. c-span, c-span radio, and >> we have had a habit in this country if i may say this now of glossing over presidents. we decided, some people, they are bald eagles and they all have to be treated as if they are symbols of the country. what that means, though, is you have a -- you have a smoothing over of their rough edges. and there is a feeling among modern presidents that they have a right to a certain veneration and that veneration will be located in their presidential library. and even if they are gone, their children in some cases and their former allies, their lieutenants
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who live longer than presidents because they are younger, they continue this. in fact, in many ways they are even more ferociously committed to the legacy not only because it involves them but because the old man is gone and they want to show their loyalty. the problem is what does the government do, because it's responsible for these libraries, when you have a flawed president? >> in part two of a conversation with timothy nattali, he has challenges he faced as the first director of the nixon library and museum. sunday night on c-span's "q&a." >> he thought she was the smartest person he ever knew and he knew how much she loved him. and he knew that she would tell him the truth. she wasn't going to sugarcoat and one of the tapes that i just absolutely love that
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the chair: out was the one where she is analyzing his speech. he asked her to could it -- to do it. she was really tough on him. >> started out nice. >> she started out nice. mother always would start off nice. no, i think you should do -- he would tell me all the time, he said your mother has the best judgment of anybody. you should always listen to your mother. he was just devoted to her. >> remembering lady bird johnson on the 100th anniversary of her birth. part of a three-day presidents' day weekend. sunday night at 7:30 on c-span3's american history tv. >> in just a moment or two the u.s. house gavels in for work on a bill to continue the federal worker pay freeze through this year. that freeze has been in effect since 2010. president obama issued an
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executive order in december to allow a half percent increase starting march 27th. today's bill would be -- would override that executive order. actually just debate the bill -- the rule for that bill today. and the rules will also include provision to allow the house to consider a resolution condemning north korea's nuclear test. that resolution likely to come to the house floor tomorrow. and the house is expected to finish work on the pay freeze bill on friday as well. meanwhile, in the senate the business on the floor is the nomination of chuck hagel to be defense secretary. it was approved by the armed services committee on tuesday on a party-line vote. 14-11. came to the floor yesterday and harry reid filed a motion yesterday to limit debate and force a vote on the nomination which is expected to happen on friday. earlier today, however, the democratic leader accused republicans of mounting a full-scale filibuster of chuck hagel.
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the nevada senator saying it was, quote, shocking and tragic republicans would block the haguele assassination. that is the subject -- hagel nomination. that is the subject of much debate this afternoon. you can follow it on c-span2 and across the c-span networks today, we are covering president obama who is speaking this afternoon at this hour and we'll take you live to the house floor and the president speaking in decatur, georgia. d ask for its consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report theres. rution. the clerk: house calendar number four, resolved that upon adoption of this resolution, it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill h. reform 273, to eliminate the 2013 statutory payment adjustment for federal employees. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. the bill shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and on any amendments
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thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member on the committee of government and oversight reform and two, one motion to recommit. section two, in any recess or adjournment if not -- of not more than three day, if in the opinion of the speaker, the public interest so warrants then the speaker or his designee after consultation with the minority leader may reconvene within the time previously appointed under clause 4, section 5, article 1 of the constitution and notify members accordingly. . for the speaker to entertain motions that the house suspend the rules as though under clause 1 of rule 15 relating to a measure condemning the government of north korea and its february 12, 2013, test of
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nuclear device. section 4, on any lenl day during the period from february 16, 2013, through february 22nd, 2013, a, the journal of the proceedings of the previous day shall be considered as approved. and b, the chair may at any time declare the house adjourned to meet at a date and time within the limits of clause 4, section 5, article 1 of the constitution to be announced by the chair in declaring the adjournment. section 5, the speaker may appoint members to perform the duties of the chair for the duration of the period addressed by section 4 of this resolution as show under clause 8-a of rule 1. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? mr. polis: madam speaker, i raise a point of order against h.r. 66 because the resolution violates 426-a of the congressional budget act. the resolution waiving all points of order waives section 425, the congressional budget act, therefore causing a
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violation of section 426-a. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado makes a point of order that the resolution violates section 426-a of the congressional budget act of 1974. the gentleman has met the threshold burden under the rule and the gentleman from colorado and a member opposed each will control 10 minutes of debate on the question of consideration. following debate, the chair will put the question of consideration as a statutory means of disposing of the point of order. the chair recognizes the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: madam speaker, i raise this point of order not necessarily out of concern for unfunded mandates, although there are likely some in the underlying bill, h.r. 273, but rather as well to demonstrate that in many ways this bill and this process has been a travesty of the civics lesson that americans learned in school. i'd like to make, madam speaker, a parliamentary inquiry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman shall state. mr. polis: what is the process a
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member can use to demand a division of the question on the bill? the speaker pro tempore: if a matter is disible, any member may demand that the matter be divided. mr. polis: further parliamentary inquiry, does the rule being considered today prohibit a member from demanding a division of the question? the speaker pro tempore: the chair cannot comment on the content of the pending measure. mr. polis: having heard from the chair that a motion can be made by any member to divide the question, i would like to ask the speaker for unanimous consent to demand a division of the question on today's bill before us. the speaker pro tempore: the is there objection to the unanimous consent? the gentleman from georgia. mr. woodall: i object. the speaker pro tempore: objection is heard. the unanimous consent is not agreed to. mr. polis: i understand that it
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sounds like sitting here in the chamber one member objected to division of the question. i would like to point out that over 400 members did not object to the division of the question. i will not ask for a recorded vote on this although i think it's clear that my side would win over 400-some to one. i did not hear any additional objects from anybody in the chamber. mr. woodall: would the gentleman yield? mr. polis: point of parliamentary inquiry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will state. mr. polis: is the time under my control yieldable? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman can control, will control his time and may yield. mr. polis: if we have additional time later, i will yield to the gentleman from georgia. again, there was one objection, one objection in this entire body to what i believe would be the overwhelming will of this body, which is to simply divide this question because there are fundamentally two issues before us. this is a bill, h.r. 273,
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introduced three weeks ago was not seen or heard in any committee of the house of jurisdiction, rushed through the rules committee under a closed rule to the floor of the house. and yet despite the fact that this bill failed to undergo any appropriate committee of jurisdiction review process, here it is on the house with limited debate at a time when we are edging closer and closer to the spending cliff that our country faces in two weeks, which this bill does nothing about. i know many of us in this body, myself included, have been tireless advocates in supporting efforts to lower our deficit and balance our budget through a balanced approach. but as republicans on the rules committee acknowledged last night, including congressman bishop, that this particular bill would do nothing to solve our federal debt as it does not even change the spending caps agreed to in the budget control act. what it does, instead, is
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include two completely unrelated measures. when you consider that the house republicans if you are a couple of federal employee pay freeze with a freeze on members of congress' salary, it leaves the suspicion that it's being speculated on by many outside this many chamber this might be done for political purposes and posturing. one wonders why this institution is held in such low esteem by so many members of the public. it is precisely this kind of political trick. let there be no disagreement. this body since i joined this body has never given members of congress a pay raise. it simply hasn't. this is largely been an uncontroversial measure when times are tough economically. members of congress should absolutely be the first in line to say, look, we are not going to take a pay increase. in fact, members of congress have already forgone their pay increase until october of this year.
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let that come up as through the appropriations process, as it's traditionally done. i'm confident this body will act with regard to member pay. but let us not tie it up with this issue of whether all federal employees at all different wage levels should have any raise at all this year or not. an amendment was brought forth yesterday by congressman barrow of california and congressman connolly of virginia that divided the bill just as we tried to do today. by an overwhelming majority we did not do because it was a unanimous consent that was required. unfortunately the idea was shut down by the rules committee. i would like to yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. connolly: i thank my colleague. madam speaker, i appreciate the comments we have just heard. the bill before us today is just the latest partisan jab at federal employees who are in the
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frontlines protecting and serving our constituents every day. i remind my colleagues that more than 85% of federal employees do not work here in the d.c. region. they live and work in your districts. they are the law enforcement agents, park rangers, researchers, health inspectors who make our communities safer. these are middle class families struggling to makes ends meet just like everybody else. yet house republicans routinely use them as a punching bag, chipping away at their pay and benefits. so far the tab is $103 billion and counting. it is time to say enough. i was pleased to join with congressman barrow and 10 of our colleagues in co-sponsoring the amendment mr. polis referred to to this partisan bill. at least would have separated the questions of freezing our pay from that of federal
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employees. in fact, three such amendments were submitted, but each was rejected by the republicans in the rules committee underscoring that this really is nothing more than another political potshot at federal employees and using us as the subterfuge. if anyone's salaries should be frozen as rafflet our nation's fiscal paralysis, it's us. members of congress. that's why i introduced an alternative bill, h.r. 636, with ranking member cummings from the oversight committee, to freeze members' salaries for the duration of this congress. of course my republican colleagues failed to acknowledge that we already voted to freeze members' salaries through september of this year, as mr. polis indicated. so there is no real sense of urgency here. why aren't we spending this time working on a bipartisan solution to avert the devastating consequences of sequestration two weeks from now? the $ 5 billion in across-the-board cuts -- $85
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billion in across-the-board cuts in defence would -- defense would throw us potentially into a recession. g.d.p. performance in the fourth quarter shows that, it declined by .1 percent largely because of shrinkage in public sector investments. that was led by a 22% drop in defense spending. the largest since the end of the vietnam war. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have shown almost no interest in addressing this threat. despite the pleadings of the secretary of defense -- 15 more seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. connolly: an amendment by our colleague to replace sequestration was also rebuffed by the rules committee just last night on a partisan vote. to make matters worse, the house is about to go into recess again tomorrow, in fact we spent 15 of the 19 weeks through from july through the lame duck in recess. let's do something productive for the united states' economy.
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i yield back. mr. polis: how much time remains? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado has 3 1/4 minutes remaining. the gentleman from georgia has 10 minutes. mr. polis: i'd like to yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from virginia, mr. moran. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia, mr. moran, for 3 1/2 minutes. mr. moran: -- 1 1/2 minutes. mr. moran: i thank my good friend from colorado. in 1729, an iraq satirist by the name of jonathan swift proposed a novel solution to child hunger and general poverty in ireland. he recommended that ireland's poor pull themselves up by their own bootstraps by selling their children as food to the rich. that would nourish the rich, earn the poor parents some much needed cash, and solve the child hunger problem all at once. some people took them seriously. most realized the point that he
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was trying to make. today the house majority has somewhat similar kind of modest proposal without mr. swift's sense of humor or irony. to ensure that our elderly are cared for, let's cut the pay of those responsible for their health. to make sure our food and drugs are safe, let's diminish the benefits of those whose job it is to screen for safety and unintended effects. to find a cure for cancer, let's punish the researcher who works daily to save millions of americans from that disease. to care for our veterans who are sent by this body to fight in foreign lands, let's make their caretakers find a second job. mr. speaker, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle may justify their vote today by boasting of freezing their own pay, but that was already accomplished in the fiscal cliff legislation. the bill before us today will freeze for the third year in a row every federal employee's
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pay. it's an effort to denigrate our federal work force in the hope that the government becomes unresponsive, and unworthy of our best and brightest. that's why i urge a strong no vote on h.r. 273. enough is enough. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. . mr. polis: why are we debating a bill that had to by pass regular order to rush to the floor in february when there's already a moratorium on the increase in pay for members of congress when we should be debating eliminating the deficit with six ledge slave -- legislative days reremaining before that fiscal cliff, instead we're discussing something with member fay that doesn't -- with members' pay that doesn't occur until october and that's been the tradition not to allow increases.
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this rule and this bill suffer from the stench of po lit siization and the -- sol tickation, i'd like to amend the bill to allow a further 10 minutes on each side. the speaker pro tempore: that request has to come from the majority manager. mr. polis: i hope that no one objects, but for three votes cast in the rules committee by a 7-4 vote, but for one solitary objection out of 435 members of this house of representatives, we would have dwhide question and this body would have avoided being dragged into yet another political game that continues to jeopardize the standing of this body among the american people. it's clear that each of these issues deserve a separate
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discussion and a vote. with regard to federal employee pay, let it come through regular order. let the committees of jurisdiction debate how the issue is handled, and let it be placed in the context of balancing our budget and overall budget solution to the automatic cuts that are far more severe than a member pay freeze and may include unpaid furloughs and other extreme measures within a couple of weeks instead of engaging in stale political gamesmanship. let's reduce our debt and deficit, avert the impending deficit, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i rise to claim type in opposition to the point of order. the speaker: the gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall: i agree with the gentleman's request to do away with stale political gamesmanship. they fail to make any ind -- you talk b about an unfunded mandate
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in a bill but not moving that there's an unfunded mandated in the bill -- mandate in the bill. i know the gentleman's hortehsert in this issue, while i say that there is only one objection in the body, i make that objection out of great affection for the gentleman because i see no way to divide this legislation into the components that the gentleman would like to debate. the gentleman would like to debate a member pay freeze, the gentleman would like to debate a federal employee pay freeze. this -- i'd be happy to yield to my friend. mr. polis: the way to divide them is the barrett connolly amendment brought to our committee yesterday, on a functional level it divides it. mr. woodall: i thought that's where the gentleman's heart lay and the reason the barrett connolly amendment is not on the floor is because it is nongermane to this legislation, we cannot subdivide this
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legislation to include nongermane component, i know the gentleman wants to debate those components and madam speaker with the -- if the the house schedules those bills, i look forward to having that debate too. one of the great pleasures i've had in this body, madam speaker, has been being a part of a majority that is bringing bills that are simple to read and simple to understand. this is a front and back bill. i happen to have mine on two pages because i like to flip but if i'd been more conservative with my printer, it would have been a front and back page here madam speaker. and what we talked about in the rules committee all last night and it would have created more points of order for germaneness issues and others, was adding amendment after amendment after amendment that did not affect this listening wadge but instead created brand new debates about brand new issues. again, i associate myself with the comments of my friend from colorado. i think the american people are fed up with the way this process
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works. but what i think they're fed up with are those bills that stack a transportation issue beside a health care issue beside a commerce department issue beside a military issue beside a child care issue, all of these things that are completely unrelated to one another, madam speaker. in this bill, one issue, one vote. and the gentleman is absolutely right new york a vote in the rules committee last night, we decided not to allow this bill to be complicated with nongermane issue after john germane issue after john jer -- after nongermane issue. those debates can come to the floor one item at the time put we were got noing to allow that to subsume what is an important debate along with the provisions contained in h.r. 273. given that the gentleman observed no unfunded mandates in this bill because there are no unfunded mandates in this bill, i ask the chair to reject the
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point of order of their being unfunded mandates in this bill. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman yield back? mr. woodall: if i could conclude by asking to allow think house to continue its scheduled business for the day, i urge members to vote yes on the question of consideration of this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time for debate has expired this equestion is, will the house consider the resolution? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the preponderance of the chair, the ayes have it. the ayes have it. the question of consideration is decided in the affirmative. without objection, the motion to re-- to reconsider is laid on the table. the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one hour. mr. woodall: for the purposes of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings, pending which i yield myself such time as may cop sume. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall: all time is yielded for the purposes of debate only, and i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. woodall: house resolution 66, the rule we are considering today, will allow for debate on the underlying bill, h.r. 273. this rule that we're considering today is a little bit unusual in that it not only allows for the underlying resolution but it also take cares of some housekeeping business that we have here on the floor of the house. for example, all of america, madam speaker, has read of the nuclear tests that -- test that happened in north korea and this resolution allows us to consider tomorrow a bill under suspension of the rules to condemn that activity in north korea. it's very important business that we are able to take care of here in the house. we would not be able to take care of it but for this rule. i'm glad we considered that here in the rule.
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in this underlying bill, madam speaker, we're continuing what the president himself continued through mar of this year, we are -- through march of this year, we are continuing through the end of the calendar year, that's a freeze on the automatic increases in federal employee pay. again, i brought down a copy of the resolution, that small, front and back bill, and so often you see findings in these bills, madam speaker. you see findings about what the congress believes and why this bill is coming to the floor and i promise you, madam speaker, if you read this resolution, and again it's only a page and a half long so it will be easy to do, you will not find one finding of contempt for federal employees. in fact if you listened to the hearing in the rules committee last night, what you saw was universal praise for the hard work that our men and women in
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the civil service are doing for this country. weave lot of work that has to be done. i know it's a popular sport in some districts to kick federal employees, federal employees by and large work hard, though i'm happy to say, you can distinguish, for example, the love and affection that so many of our constituents -- constituencies have for men and women in uniform you see those pay raise bills move through very quickly, versus the suspicion you have from time to time from folks who said, i was just down at xyz federal office, i didn't get great service, i was on the phone, trying to get rulls from xyz agency, they kept me on hold for three half-hours, what are my tack dollars paying for? we owe it better -- we owe better to our federal employees than to put them in that circumstance. gradually, not nearly fast enough, but gramulely, our federal employee system is moving forward reck is --
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recognizing hardworking, successful, dedicated employees through merit pay. merit increases. through bonuses. through bumps. ways to say, you know what, service matters. service matters. and a one size fits all pay scale does not work across the federal system. i'm very proud, madam speaker, i've been appointed to the oversight and government reform committee in whose jurisdiction this bill is. i hope we're going to be able to take up those shrns and build on that progress that has been made. but in all the conversation you'll hear on this floor, i won't say rhetoric because i know people's hearts are in this issue, in all the debate you'll hear on this house floor, what you -- what you will not hear is that one dollar is being cut from those merit bonuses. what you will not hear is that
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one dollar is being removed from agencies to have an opportunity to say, you know what, job well done, you deserve a bonus. what you will not hear is that one dollar is being taken that would have gone to recognize performance above and beyond in the service of our citizenry. what you will hear is that in line with the recommendations of the much-discussed simpson-bowles commission that a three-year frieze on federal automatic salary increases will be continued. upheld. went into effect for two years and three months and it will continue through the end of the year system of often i hear, madam speaker, i just want my constituents to -- my constituents say, i want to make sure congress is abide big the same rules you ask everybody else to abide by. i want to make that clear. that's what my friend from
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colorado was discussing. it's not a provision in this bill, it's extra, it's a function of law, members of congress' pay will absolutely be frozen for just as long. just as long. same rules apply to everybody. apply to the vice president, mr. speaker, apply to the executive branch, apply to folks back home in georgia, aply across the board to federal employees and apply to everybody here in this chamber. we had one of the longest and i would argue most intensive hearings of our rules committee cycle last night, mr. speaker. where we explored this bill line by line, detail by detail. i was pleased to be part of that debate. i'm glad we had an opportunity, really unlimited time, with which to do that. but i believe we crafted a good rule, mr. speaker. that will allow for thorough debate of this underlying bill.
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again, i would remind you, mr. speaker, and all members, this bill posted on the house rules committee website, front and back of a sheet of paper, it's simple, direct, for everyone in this house to be able to read, everyone back home to be able to read so we can have a thorough debate on this bill this afternoon. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: i thank my good friend from georgia for yielding the customary 30 minutes to me. i rise obviously in opposition to the rule for consideration of h.r. 273 to eliminate the 2013 statutory pay adjustment for federal employees. i just heart many -- heard my colleague from depea say this is a good rule. but i've also heard him say what i afree with very frequently, and that is that this body should proceed toward regular order, allow the committee
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process to go forward in a meaningful way, to have hearings, and to let the will of the body be worked here in the people's house. i've also heard him talk about closed rules and it's for that reason that i believe that this process is not a good process, because it is a closed rule and it couldn't new york that sense, be good. there were no hearings. he talks about this one week, one bill. why this week for federal employees? last night i talked with six members of the american federation of government employees. some of them older, some of them younger. and all of them agonizing as a federal -- as are federal employees around the country. let me get to the point. the republicans have decided
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that they want to continue in the same shortsighted and counterproductive campaign against federal employees that we saw in the last congress. when they introduced this very same bill in the 112th congress -- this same bill. in the 112th congress it passed the house and went nowhere, accomplished absolutely nothing. i'm quite certain, and i'll bet, it will face the same fate this time around. just last week, the rules committee considered h.r. 444, the require a plan act. which should have been called the republicans have no plan act. instofede offering real solutions to the challenges facing our nation, my republican colleagues continue to introduce do nothing legislation that will do nothing to help the american people.
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obviously all of us know we face an $ 5 billion sequester -- an $85 billion sequestration cuts in a matter of weeks, these cuts were intended to be a failsafe. they were supposed to be so unpalatable so horrible, for everyone, that congress would never -- would never allow them to go into effect. . instead of making sure these massive cuts don't threaten the progress we have made, my friends on the other side would rather play politics at the expense of the middle class and the working poor. underscore working poor. the president put it in his state of the union address, and i quote him, arbitrary deficit reduction is not an economic plan. deficit reduction is a means to an end not an end in an of itself. it is just one tool that will
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will help us get our country back on the right track. you can't build a house with just a saw. deficit reduction needs to be part of a comprehensive economic plan, one that will stimulate growth and create jobs. a serious economic plan is one that does not take potshots at our economy and our nation's full faith and credit for political purposes. we must in this people's house move beyond politics and work to avoid a dangerous back slide in our nation's economic recovery. for the life of me i can't even begin to understand why house republicans continue to pick on federal employees. i mean it's as if the people that keep the capitol clean, the police officer that keep us -- officers that keep us safe, the
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countless people that work right here on this capitol complex do not deserve this paltry raise to be picked on. they have already contributed. federal employees, that's what my friends were saying to me last night, $103 billion tornadoes deficit reduction -- towards deficit reduction. furthermore, federal employees and retirees have contributed $15 billion in savings over 10 years through an increased pension contribution. two-year federal pay freeze has been in effect since 2011. and will produce an additional $60 billion in savings. the reduction and delay of a $213 -- 2013 pay increase, included in the current continuing resolution, will yield $28 billion in savings. at what point does enough, as my friend from virginia said, become enough?
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what's more and puzzles me, and i asked the question of the contributor of this bill last evening is why are federal contractors who make twice as much as federal employees included in this pay freeze? she gave me some political fogging, i don't know what it was. and don't care to even bother to try to remember. during the debate over the fiscal cliff, republicans said that we shouldn't asked for -- ask for the wealthiest in our society to pay their fair share. and the reason it was put, this was a while back during the debate on the fiscal cliff, was if we don't -- tax the wealthy, they won't work as hard. if they are taking home less money. what about federal employees? and why is it that that logic does not apply here? it's incomprehensible that we
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find ourselves in this position. mr. speaker, if the federal government is not paying realistic salaries, than we can't expect to be able to provide for people to allow for themselves and their families to have a decent living. mr. speaker, the fact of the matter is that the federal work force is smaller now than it was in 1988, an historic low compared to the size of the national population. there are fewer federal workers now than at any time during president reagan's administration. something has got to give. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself 90 seconds to say to my friend always appreciate the eloquence of his words.
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my only saving grace, mr. speaker, is that the facts are on my side. if the world was as the gentleman from florida had described it, i would probably be where the gentleman from florida is in terms of position, but that's not the case. every dollar we spend in this town, mr. speaker, has consequences. and the $12 billion, $11 billion we are talking about in this bill is not money that's being cut from the federal budget. it's money that's not being given as an automatic inflater to every federal salary in the land, and instead it remains available to those agencies to perform the services that they were created to perform. let me be clear, mr. speaker, that means for every dollar that's not going into a clerk's pocket at the veterans affairs administration, that's a dollar that's going to go to implement veterans affairs services. for every dollar that's not going to be an automatic pay
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increase in my hometown at the c.d.c. is going to go for critical research and infrastructure there to perform the very important role the c.d.c. was created to perform. we have to make choices, mr. speaker. going the greece and pay cuts. google greece and pension cuts. in fact, don't just use google, use yahoo!, binge, anything you like. you will will see where we are headed when you refuse to make the tough decision that is my friends from are refusing to make with respect to the federal budget, you know where those cuts are going to fall. with that, mr. speaker, i'd like to yield five minutes to one of our very distinguished freshmen members, the gentleman from texas, mr. williams. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes. mr. williams: thank you, mr. speaker. i stand here in support of h.r. 273, a commonsense bill to overturn president obama's recent executive order that
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authorizes a five point percent pay raise for workers. with the looming threat of sequestration weeks away, federal agencies should be focused on how to do more with less, like every other business does in america, and other family does in america. but the president's orders would cost taxpayers more than $10 billion over 10 years. here are the facts. in the last decade the average federal civilian salary has increased by 62%. when you factor in benefits, total compensation packages for federal employees, it tops $126,000 compared to less than $63,000 in the private sector. i haven't heard the other side saying anything about that. i'm a business owner. i have been in business for 42 years. still own a business and hope to stay in business. when i pay-per-view raises to my employees -- pay pay raises to my employees it's because of their loyalty and hard work not because they are on payroll. my constituents in the 25th district of texas are fed up
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with the government's borrows and grows too much. let's protect hard-earned taxpayer collars and pass this secretary of defense solution, h.r. 273. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i would advise the gentleman, i was a businessperson, too. and there is a distinction between private businesses and civil servants of the federal government. i'm pleased at this time to yield three minutes to the distinguished gentleman and my good friend from massachusetts on the rules committee, mr. mcgovern. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for three minutes. mr. mcgovern: thank you very much. i want to thank the gentleman for yielding to me. first of all, mr. speaker, let me urge my colleagues that democrats and republicans alike to vote against this closed rule. this is a closed rule. where the entire process has been shut down. the committee's of jurisdiction
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held no hearings. there was no markup. came to the rules committee, what did the rules committee do? they shut it down. they shut out all possibilities for democrats or republicans to offer amendments. my friend from georgia is proud to defend this closed, iron fist policy, but i think it's wrong, especially on a bill like this. number one. number two, this is a rotten thing to do to federal employees. it really is. i mean these are hardworking men and women, these are people who work at n.i.h. who try to find cures to diseases that by the way will not only improve the quality of life for our people but save money. save money. this is about denyingp a pay increase to d.e.a. agents on the borders, to the c.i.a. agents who track down osama bin laden. this is a rotten, rotten thing to do. for what? to score some political -- cheap political points. i'm a little confused. my friend from georgia says it's really not a cut.
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we are not reducing the deficit at all. the gentleman from texas said we need to save the american taxpayers money. the bottom line is that this is a cheap political stunt. and the victims here are working people. none of us should be surprised because this is the republican kind of signature issue. go after working people. you want to find ways to balance the budget? punish working people. you want to find this or that? go after working people. enough. enough of this war against working families in this country. mr. speaker, what is also really frustrating is that here we are debating a bill that's really going nowhere, that's about a press release. my republicans are going to go on vacation tomorrow. we are not going to be back for a week. then we'll have four legislative days left to deal with this thing called sequestration. on march 1, all these across-the-board cuts go into play. guess what? we'll lose at least 750,000
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jobs. that's not my estimate, that's the -- what the head of o.m.b. says. 750,000 americans unemployed because of their inaction. guess what? what are these people going to do? they are going to have to look for unemployment, be without work, it will slow down our economic growth. give me a break. there should be some urgency here. my republican friends instead of bringing this to the floor ought to be finding ways to avoid this fiscal sequestration cliff that we are about to go over. when my friends talk about the deficit and the debt, they don't talk about unpaid for war costs. they don't talk about all the money they sent to baghdad, instead we have fights on the floor to provide emergency hurricane relief aid to the victims of hurricane sandy in our own country. only 48 of my republican friends voted for that. that's where their priorities are. we should be trying to put the
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american people first. mr. hastings: i yield an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: what we should be talking about on this floor is jobs. jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. that is how we are going to get this economy going again. that is how we reduce our deficit. that's how we reduce our debt. instead you are punishing american workers. this is shameful. we should be spending our time doing something that will actually benefit this economy and this economic recovery. this is not it. i urge my colleagues to vote no on this closed rule and vote no on the underlying bill. i urge the leadership, get serious about avoiding sequestration. it is not good for our country. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida reserves his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself four minutes to talk about cheap political stunts. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall: i thank you, mr. speaker. because i see a few political stunts down here from time to time. i don't want to character anybody's behavior in that way,
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don't think that's appropriate. what i would say is if we go to the very top of the g.s. scale, a good senior person like a g.s. 14 making $84,000 a year, this one half percent pay increase that the president did by executive order that we are saying won't go into effect until next year, that's going to give that one working person, that income earner for that family, $2,000 for that family to use over the next year. mr. mcgovern: would the gentleman yield to me? mr. woodall: i'll yield to the gentleman to answer this question. the gentleman sees here $10,793. that's the additional burden that the gentleman when he controlled this congress for two years with the president of the united states also of his party added to this working family's burden. now, when you come to the house floor and profess your affection for the working people in my district, the working people in my district, and you say you
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express that affection by ensuring that this year, this year one half percent of their pay is going to go up while $10,000 for that worker, $10,000 for that worker's wife, $10,000 for that worker's oldest child, middle child, and youngest child for a family of five in my district, the gentleman added $50,000 in debt and deficit that has to be repaid. that has to be repaid. . i know the gentleman was using his heart when he passed those programs, i don't question the gentleman's motivation at all. what i do is take offense that the gentleman question mismotivation in shifting $2,000 from workers' salaries into programs, programs for research, programs for health, that he
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questions my commitment to working class people. when while he did this, he voted yes after yes after yes with no remorse whatsoever. i'm happy to yield to him. >> i take offense at the gentleman's party doing that, we should be talking about sequestration and the gentleman's party is talking about how to lay off more worker. mr. woodall: i welcome my friend to the sequestration debate, we the one we tried to have last session, with no help. we are there at 2:30, midnight, on sequestration day sayering let's do it, let's do it, back in may we passed a bill here, let's do it with the bill we passed in august to solve the fiscal cliff, let's toyota with the one we passed in december, mr. speaker, there's not a
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person in this body i don't want to work with and solve these problems. there's not one. not one. but when we do it here at the 11th hour and say golly, i wish folks had gotten serious about it earlier, mr. speaker, we've been tiing to get serious about it for 18 months, the question is, when the president passed the law of the land, signed sequestration into law, the joint select committee failed, the question isn't why are we having to plan for sequestration today, the question is, why wasn't the administration planning for it 14 months ago when we knew the law of the land would put it into effect come march 1, 2013. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves his time they have gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: before yield, i ask my good friend from georgia a question, if we're leaving here as i suspect we will tomorrow for a week, why don't we just stay here and get this
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done? rather than go on vacation or whatever we do mr. woodall: would the gentleman yield? i asked that question, or a version of it, to the distinguished gentleman from maryland, the minority whip last night. mr. hastings: he doesn't control the house. mr. woodall: the gentleman would continue to yield. skid what would it have take ton get that joint select committee to succeed, to succeed, because that's why we're here in sequestration, that's why we're dealing with these thins he said he did not know what more we could have done to find agreement then and i say to the gentleman that those same changes the minority whip observed last night were preventing agreement then are those same challenges preventing us whether we work until midnight tonight or not from solving them today though i'd be happy to stay with the gentleman as long as work is to be done in this house. mr. hastings: one thing is certain, the majority whip
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controls the floor, the speaker controls the house, if they chose for us to stay here, we could stay here. with that, i'm pleased to yield five minutes to my very good friend, the distinguished gentlewoman from new york, who is my ranking member on the rules committee, ms. slaughter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. slaughter: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my colleague from the rules committee, mr. speaker, and everyone who is listen, you know by now, what you've heard by now, is they want sequestration. the local papers, the ones we print on the capitol hill today, all say we want se quest -- they want sequestration. the excuse they're giving is they'll wait and see what the senate will do, we're not going to take action, we're going to be bystanders until we find out they want sequestration. over 700,000 workers will lose their job. a lot of economists tell us this could be worse than the great depression but they're willing to do it. they're willing to do it because
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they want to fight this president. i think that means a whole lot more to them than doing their job here as elected members of congress. as we heard before, we only have six days left, six legislative days, when we come back from a week's vacation, and have these cuts that will have devastating impact on our economy and the well being of every american citizen. i urge the c.e.o.'s of america who are very worried, said so for months and months, that they were concerned, desperately, about the prospect of sequestration, to talk to their members here and get them to change their mind if they can. this is really dire. we're not kidding around here. this is serious business. we are literally facing fiscal cliffs. but the solution that we make to this, as you all know, a manmade crisis here, they take a swing at their favorite punching bag and hold hostage again the people who make their living
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serving all of us. this morning was -- or last night, i guess, was the first time i really heard that what we're doing is not going to save anything. bear in mind the federal employees have already given in salary givebacks over $100 billion over the next 10 years. that should be enough. -- enough sacrifice for them but we're going to go more. we're not going to do it to reduce the deficit. it's going to be made available to agencies. there's a lot of alice in wonderland sort of sense in the congress these days and alice, one of the things i liked about her most, she was a very strange little girl but she said she practiced as hard as she could to try to believe six impossible things before breakfast. and i'm trying to put this in that same category and it simply is impossible for me to believe that we gain anything in the world by taking away the salaries and income of hardworking government employees to put back in the federal --
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into federal agencies. frankly if any of you can really understand that, i'd appreciate it if you'd let me know. we had a chance, the last two weeks, we had two chances, to do away with sequester and a common sense way to do it and also to cut the deficit with a sensible solution, mr. van hollen, the ranking member of the budget committee and deserves our respect, was not allowed to do anything, as you pointed out, i heard mr. mcgovern say so, the rule committees now runs the house. there's no committee action on any of these bills. no chance for republicans and democrats in the committee setup which the founding fathers had and which we followed for generations and hundreds of years here, no possibility for them to all discuss it. it simply is brought to rules. now, mr. van hollen, he had a sensible solution here, it
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really does make sense, was simply not allowed to be put on the floor so we could discuss it and give people the vote for it. is this a bipartisan group of the members of the house don't want this bill passed and i really want to ask unanimous consent to put a letter in from one of the most thoughtful members and a friend, representative wolf of virginia, and what he said what he thinks this is about he calls it a cheap political trick. i think that sums it up. already, cuts totaling $1.5 trillion have been made. to the discretionary spending. and as a result, because of the layoff of employees, our economy experienced an unexpected economic contraction in the final quarter of 2012 which we should pay heed to. sequestration would compound our economic troubles even further. george mason university says sequestration could lose $2.1 --
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could lose 2.14 million employees could lose their job and the important federal programs could be crippled because of irresponsible cuts. i need to mention a few of them again, f.a.a. which makes flying safer, they would experience a great cutback. people who on the border who do drug interdictions and keep our borders safe and strong, they would have a severe cutback. our sequestration would mean that vital research would be slowed and as a scientist, let me assure you that research cannot be turned off and on like a faucet. it is necessary for taos maintain that research with dollars because as has been pointed out before, you want to keep the population healthy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. slaughter: how important that is for us, not only for our economic well being but for the well being of our citizens. this is a foolish thing that we're doing here today.
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i hope -- i can't imagine anyone in the senate would even contemplate bringing it up so all this is simply a waste of time as we do here so many times. i urge my colleagues on both sides to vote no and give us a chance to let mr. van hollen bring his bill to the floor or some bill from the republican side. i don't care where it comes from, we have to stop sequestration. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back, the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: during the previous speaker's presentation she asked unanimous consent to include a letter this espeaker didn't rule on that. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered, it will be included. mr. hastings: thank you. mr. woodall: at this time it's my great pleasure to yield two minutes to a good friend here, mr. wittman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes.
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mr. wittman: i rise in opposition to this bill and i'm proud to represent thousands of hardworking federal civilian employees who serve that nation on a daily basis. they fight crime for the f.b.i., root out terrorism with the c.i.a. and provide vital support to members of our military. they are scientists, air traffic controllers and engineers, pursuing excellence each day to cure disease, protect our travelers, and shore up our infrastructure. they are doctors and nurses at v.a. hospitals, ensuring that our veterans get the highest caliber of care in return for their service to this nation. they are border patrol agents protecting our homeland from those who wish to do us arm. but above all they are patriots, selfless, committed sit zepps who believe in serving their nation. this congress charges these hardworking americans with their duties, and this congress asks them to perform these duties to the very best of their
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abilities. it is only appropriate then that their service be recognized and applauded rather than consistently used as a tool in the game of politics. to be clear, i do not think that members of congress should receive a pay increase and i continually supported efforts to reduce our pay and cut our legislative budgets. but this bill is not about member os of congress. it is about our -- members of congress, it's about our federal civilian work force which has been under a pay freeze for the last two years. this legislation would continue that pay freeze throughout the end of this year. for these dedicated citizens, life is about public service and commitment. commitment to the people of this nation and to the ideals and dreams set forth by our founding fathers. so today i ask my colleagues, do you want an efficient, responsible, safe united states of america? do you plan to ask any less of our federal work force? it seems to me that we are only asking them to do more for this nation with less, without
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standing by them in these challenging times. we must stop continually targeting our federal employees. i urge a no vote on h.r. 273. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: would you be kind enough to tell both of us how much time remains? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida has -- from florida has 13 minutes and the gentleman from georgia has 16 1/2 minutes. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i'm pleased at this time to yield two minutes to a new member of the house of representatives that i know to be very thoughtful from california, mr. barrett. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. barrett: i rise today to speak against the closed rule. yesterday, i introduced an amendment that would have separated the pay raise for members of congress from the remainder of federal employees.
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if that amendment had passed, only -- mr. bera: i rise today speak against the closed rule. unfortunately, the committee ruled against the closed rule and will not allow an up or down vote on any amendment that would not allow us to vote up or down on this. to not allow an up or down vote does not allow congress to take a clean vote on the cost of living adjustment for federal employees. congress needs to start working together in a bipartisan manner and start addressing issues like sequestration and the budget. we need to start making strategic budget decisions, not across the board cuts. that's not how you make decisions. we need to eliminate and reduce those programs that are no longer effective and begin to bring our budget under control. and we cannot act responsibly and find a way to achieve this balance, then we don't deserve a
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pay raise as members of congress. this amendment, the amendment i propose, would have reiterated that. not allowing a clean vote is just wrong. we should not balance the federal budget on the backs of our federal employees. my amendment would have allowed us to take that vote. sacramento county, my home county, has over 26,000 federal employees. these are hardworking citizens in the defense department, many of them are veterans who have served our can'try admirably, and there are other dedicated public servants keeping our country safe. we should not ask them to make the sacrifice without asking ourselves to make that sacrifice first. now is the time we've got to set aside this partisanship and start working together to serve our country. however, achieving fiscal balance on the backs of our hardworking federal employees is not a solution. i urge my colleagues to vote against this rule, protect our hardworking and responsible
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federal employees and work in a bipartisan manner to pass a responsible budget. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: i yield myself two minutes. my friend from california gave a thoughtful presentation to the rules committee last night. as my colleague from florida suggested, i am a big fan of open rules. it's early in the process, always harder to go through regular order until the committee have spun up but i would say to my freshman friend from california, everyone if we had made an open rule controling for this bill the gentleman's amendment still would not have been made in order. it would have been ruled by the parliamentarian as being out of order, nongermane to the underlying bill. . mr. hastings: we have the power in the rules committee to waive that germaneness and allow the amendment to go forward. thank you.
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mr. woodall: he's absolutely right. my advice to my new freshman colleague from california would be in this case it's not an open rule that he's after, it's his colleagues on the rules committee working their rules committee magic to waive the rules. he would have you actually taken a waiver of the house rules to allow the gentleman's amendment to come. he made a very passionate case last night, mr. speaker, and i know his heart is in this issue. mr. speaker, i want to be clear about what this bill is and what this bill isn't. and what it isn't is a pay freeze for federal employees. what has been the law of the land for the last two years has not been a pay freeze. all of the increases that come with longevity have been taking place. all of the increase that is have come with promotions have taken place. all of the increases that come with meritorious pay and bonuses and all of those activities have still been going on. what this is, however, is a nine-month suspension of the
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automatic across-the-board .5% increase that the president directed by executive order in december. that is all this bill is. and that's all this bill will be under this rule. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield to my good friend from the mayor of his city, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell, is recognized for two minutes. mr. pascrell: mr. speaker, we need a balanced approach to reducing our deficit. which makes responsible cuts while also raising revenue. this bill is not the way to do it. i have a great respect for the gentleman's intellect. but this is one of the dumbest bills i have ever seen come to this floor. let's take a look at it, mr. speaker. i rise in strong opposition to this rule and the underlying bill.
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as part of the fiscal cliff deal , we promise federal employees that they would see their first pay raise in over two years on march 27. this is a modest pay. half a percent. when you save $10 million talking about $1 billion a year. now a little more than a month before the increase takes effect, the bill before us today would break that promise. do you think, america, that this is going to solve the fiscal problems that the congress and presidents created? my home state of new jersey suffered a devastating damage from sandy this past fall, as did a few other states. employees from fema, the army corps of engineers, h.u.d., and
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many other agencies were on the ground immediately. how dare you ask this question about what if we took the dollar from the clerk and then provided it to our armed forces. what kind of negotiation is that? what kind of auditing are we doing? we are doing the same thing with our own staffs. the very people sitting alongside of us and behind us, which is not germane to this legislation, but we are doing the same thing. they haven't had a raise in two years. wonderful. we are saving the country because we are doing that. these are human beings, too. they are not chattel. they are not numbers. they are not stick figures. thank you, mr. speaker. they walk the streets, navigating through flooding, debris, downed powerlines, these fema folks, in order to assess
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damages and reach out to the victims. they are not nameless. they are not faceless bureaucrats. these are heroes who continue to contribute each and every day to our ongoing rebuilding. and darn it, we allowed this to happen five or six years ago when we laid off thousands and thousands of police officers and firefighters and teachers and we called it saving the country. federal workers are also law enforcement officers and firefighters, put their lives on the line for us every day. they work for the defense department. they protect us in our times of need. and we need to be there for them. they have done and continue to do their part. i am tired of us using federal, state, local county employees as the scapegoats for our ineptness. i am -- maybe it's the politically correct thing to do
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to capitulate and join the forces and cut everybody. that's what we should do. i don't think so. i will debate you any time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. pascrell: on the federal workers. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. million woodall: mr. speaker, i yield myself three minutes to say to the gentleman, he heard it from the gentleman from virginia on my side of the aisle, the respect for federal employees and the job that they do is not a question being debated here today. the admiration that i have for the folks in the c.d.c. in my neck of the woods, the support led by the speaker of the house from my state, speaker gingrich, to double the n.i.h. budget and double again. the kind of work that goes on here is indisputed. i want to show you, mr. speaker, what my constituents also see in
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their tough times, because it's not just the clerk at the v.a. that hasn't gotten a raise in two years. i was talking with a my friend of mine a clerk in a furniture store. single mom, child, son, 6 years old. hasn't gotten a raise in two years. makes $11 an hour. average median, median federal wage, $74,000 an hour. what i show you here is a chart in the c.b.o., the same organization that cites the job loss figures that you quoted here earlier that compares the work of folks with high school degrees, little bit of college, with college in the private sector, the salaries and benefits in the private sector with that of the public sector. now, i say to the gentleman in no way, mr. speaker, do i want to minimize the tremendous responsibility placed on our federal civilian workers.
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again, i have chosen a career of public service as have they. and i admire them for it. i know it's a great sacrifice to themselves and their families. in this tough time until we can get our handle on the debt and the deficit, my constituents continue to look at how their tax dollars appear to be paying salaries and benefits higher to federal employees than what my folks are getting back home. i hope the c.b.o. will produce a different report that shows a different result, but until it does, i wish my friends wouldn't categorize what's going on here as some sort of hateful act, disrespectful act towards federal employees and could recognize it as a balancing of salaries and benefits that our own congressional budget office has suggested is actually an inequity that exists today. with that i would be happy to yield. mr. pascrell: i wouldn't use the two words you used. i would use the word demeaning.
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we have demeaned our staff, which are not included in this, i understand that, but you want to know something? those unemployment figures for the last six years would be so different if we haven't -- hadn't laid off those very same federal employees who you are now deciding that a half a percent take away from them at this particular time and for some crazy idea that you give the money to the agency to do with it what it wishes. i don't think you meant that, really. i don't think you meant that at all. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i'm very pleased at this time to yield two minutes to my good friend, the distinguished the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for two minutes. ms. jackson lee: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. jackson lee: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank both of my managers, dear friend from florida for the leadership on the issue, the number of members who have already spoken, and my good friend on the rules committee who is the manager of this particular rule, and in essence bringing this bill to the floor of the house. and that is what you hear the discourse about because in many times this discourse is -- becomes confusing because we are trying to compare apples and/or rangs. so let me first -- and oranges. let me first own up to a fact that a congressional pay freeze is already in place. our salaries have been frozen. when it expires realize to the -- we'll rise to the occasion and freeze it again. we are elected by the people and those decisions can be made on behalf of the people. we are not talking about
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congressional salaries today. they are in place. they exist. what we are talking about is the i.c.e. officer that i'm meeting with in the rayburn buildings, who works every day to protect this country. who's seen because of the $103 billion that federal employees have already given to reduce the deficit, necessities of work being challenged. custom and border protection, d.e.a. officers, f.b.i., health and human services, centers for disease control physicians, research at n.i.h., those scientist, all of those persons working for the greater good. those who had to address the west nile virus, fema employees who are right now on the ground with hurricane sandy. i have no question that there are private sector employees
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that are addressing this question. but they have gotten a 4.7% raise. let me tell you what the issue s let's stop fooling around and address the question of sequester. protect those who need a social safety net and social security and medicare. realize that if you dice and cut and slash under the sequester, that will be the issue. none of these amendments were allowed in. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman. last night at the rules committee there were amendments to bring forward the right kind of addressing the sequester. they indicated it was not germane. i know these words are confusing, but those -- that could have been a waiver. we all know what that means. it doesn't match, it doesn't fit, but we waive you in. that could have been debated on the floor of the house. my amendment said that we should take a pause. i simply said this bill shouldn't be brought up. i struck the entire language of the bill so we could get to the
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point of providing a debate on the sequester to make sure that the american people's voices are heard. they don't want an across-the-board cut when you begin to cut the resource that is they need. but we can do better. but it should be clear that our federal employees -- let me just say to you in texas, there are 251,000 federal employees. california, over 400,000. these are not folks inside the beltway. they are the one that is are in the nation's national forests. on the border. in hospitals. dealing with drug cartels. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: i can assure you, mr. speaker, this is not what we are today. this is unfair to our federal workers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: i won't stand for it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield tie meff two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman is recognized tore two minutes. mr. woodall: i want to read from the simpson-bowles commission report. and i want to read from it not because i support everything that simpson-bowles commission had to say, i want to read from it not because it's a bill that has been passed here on the floor of the house, been introduced but peant passed, i want to read from it because it was put together by the president to be a thoughtful, nonpartisan, deliberative body that would try to find those things in the federal government that should change to right the fiscal ship that is the united states of america. and this is what that group appointed by president obama, republicans and democrats, thoughtful deliberative body had to say. . out of duty and patriotism, hardworking federal employees
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proside a great service to this country. but in a time of budget shortfalls all levels of government must trim back. in the recent resession, millions of private sector and state and municipal employees had their wages frozen or cut back and millions more lost their jobs altogether. in contrast, federal workers' wages increase annually due to automatic formulas in law, providing them with cost of living adjustments totaling more than 5% in the last two years this proposal would institute a three-year government-wide freeze on federal pay at every government agency, including the department of defense civilian work force. this would save $20.4 billion. the president, to his credit, implemented the first two years of this proposal. perhaps there was consultation with someone in this body, it was not me. the president decided he wasn't going to extend it a third year
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but instead would give a half percent pay raise. these are issues that can be debated, mr. speaker. but what they can't be is demonized of as pejorative, i yield myself an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall: because it's porn. this isn't a republican idea or a democrat idea. it's not something that was created in the minds of folks who hate the federal employees and the federal government. it's an idea that came directly from the commission appointed by president barack obama to solve exactly the kinds of fiscal problems that we are facing today. like it, don't like it, but don't say it's something it's not, mr. speaker. this is an idea from the president's fiscal commission and we're bringing it to the floor today. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman tees i'm -- the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i urge and alert my colleague from georgia that i have no further
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speakers and i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. woodall: i have no fufert speakers and am prepared to close. mr. hastings: then i yield myself such time as remains. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i really like and have great affection for my friend from georgia and i understand exactly what he just did with reference to the president's commission as appointed by senator simpson anders kin bowles. but -- anders kin bowles. but what is require for this nation to right its shape doesn't emanate from just one commission. while this particular proposal may be lifted as an idea from the simpsons-bowles commission, i would urge my friend from georgia to read the whole thing, which does contemplate shared
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sacrifice. and that's what i've tried to get across to my colleagues here in this institution, as a person that lived as a child during the second world war, i saw what sacrifice meant. and i saw the people that did the sacrificing. and they did it together, different than us today, and that's why i think it's wrong to cherry pick and then use a sledgehammer against federal employees for something that is not likely to become the law of the land. it's a waste of time. the only good thing that i have to say about the bill before us today is that it has zero chance of becoming law. i anxiously wait for my friends on the other side, particularly the leadership, to actually
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start considering legislation that will help -- that will help, not hurt, the american people. mr. speaker, if we defeat the previous question, i will offer an amendment which would allow the house to vote on replacing the entire sequester for 2013 with savings from specific policies that reflect a balanced approach to reducing our national debt. there are only six legislative days left until the sequester hits. now is the time to act. smart government is not about sequesters, it's about solutions and it's time to work together for the american people. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert in the text of my amendment in the record along with extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous question.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. hastings: i urge my colleagues to vote no and defeat the previous question, i urge a no vote on the rule, and i yield back the balance of my time with the final thought that we don't have that much time to waste and we are wasting the american people's time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back the remainder of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall spsk the gentleman believes we are -- mr. woodall:: the gentleman believes we are wasting the american people's time, an equally important commodity is the american peoples' money. i talked about $1,000 per person. a lot of people do their numbers by taxpayer family or per adult or per children, i didn't want to game the system like that.
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the chart i have right now, mr. speaker, $52,381. you take today's $16 ppt 5 trillion debt that america has and divide it by every single human being that the census department sell uses is in america -- tells us is in america in january, 2013, you will find we have borrowed and spent $52,381 for every human being in america. i don't minimize the burden that will be on a family of four in my district when they don't receive that half a percent pay bump that the president tried to do by executive order that we're rescinding here today. i don't minimize that at all.
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but it is minimal compared to the $52,000 for each member of that family of four. that half a percent pay raise is minimal compared to the $208,000 that that family owes as its share of the federal debt. the gentleman made a -- from florida, mr. speaker, made a passionate presentation last night. i believe he's absolutely right. he referenced himself and our ranking member as the only two folks on that committee who know anything about sacrifice. i always go through my grandparents' stuff, i was one of those kids who loved being in the attic, you always find neat stuff in the attic or the basement. i have the ration stamps, mr. speaker. sugar, rubber, i don't know what that's like. i don't know what that's like for a nation to come together
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with such a sense of purpose that they say, we're going to police ourselves and our own family, we're going to have the posters up on the wall that say loose lips sink shapes -- ships and don't waste because we need it for the war effort and we're going to come together and make that happen. in fact, the last time this country had the kind of debt as a percentage of the size of its economy it has today was when we were coming out of world war ii. in that time, where we were rationing rubber and sugar, when we no longer minted our currency with copper because we didn't have enough to go around or nickel, we were using steel to put the coins together at that time, in that time of crisis, mr. speaker, when we thought freedom of the world was on the line, we borrowed the largest amount of money ever borrowed in the history of this country to
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win world war ii. as we stand here today, we have borrowed trillions more in actual dollars, but that same garr gant yuan number, 100 -- gargantuan number, 100% of our economy, for what? where does that leave us when the next crisis comes, and i promise it will. the next crisis will come and the tools we have to address it will have been eroded by the policies of today. i take no pleasure, no pleasure, in being down here today, managing the rule, that will extend into year three a federal employee pay freeze. i told folks in my constituency, mr. speaker, i said i want to come back home and tell you how much i've been doing good work for you in washington and
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dadgummit, i deserve a pay raise. i want us all to be so successful we can go back home and tell folks we deserve it. but with $16.4 trillion in debt, four years of no budgets at all coming out of this town, trillion dollar annual deficits, we don't. and if you think the pain of a three-year pay freeze is pad, mr. speaker, -- is bad, mr. speaker, google greece. do your yahoo search on greece. not half a percent freezes, but double digit cuts. to federal benefits. double digit cuts to pensions that seniors are relying on. double digit cuts to salaries. layoffs. double digit percentages. it doesn't get better on its own, mr. speaker. we have to do it.
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and my friend from florida is so right, mr. speaker, we have to come together to solve the bigger problems, this is not the bigger problem. at best, this is a symptom of a problem, at worst it's just something we're trying to do to manage through. in this body, mr. speaker, the senate, the president, we put six of our best minds from the house, three democrats, three republicans, six of our best minds from the senate, three democrats, three republicans, weand locked them in a room for about three months. and said do anything, do anything you want to with the federal budget, dream your biggest dreams, come up with your best ideas, get outside the box and we're going to close the door, so you can have that conversation with the utmost candor, republicans and democrats alike, house member, senate members alike. after three months, mr. speaker, having looked at literally, literally hundreds of trillions
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of dollars of federal spending going out decades, they found that they could agree on not even one dollar. not one dollar. in changes. mr. speaker, as you well know, as the freshmen members of the body are going to learn we can only control one third of the budget here. one third of the budget. thatties cessionnary spending. one third of the budget. that's where the federal employee salaries are. one third of the budget so everything we do to try to get a handle on $52,000 in debt per man, woman, and child in america, everything we do to try to get our fiscal ship sailing straight once again, is coming from that one third. because to get to the real drivers of the debt, mr. speaker, to get to the real drivers, we've got to get into the 2/3. the 2/3 that can only get to the
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table hen the house and the senate and the president all agree. as highly unorthodox as that is, my great respect for my friend requires that i do. mr. hastings: i just have to say, america ain't greece, it ain't going to be greece, thank you for the time. mr. woodall: i say to my friend, i fear, i fear it's thinking like that that's going to take us exactly there. mr. speaker, again, i take no pleasure in this freeze today. i believe in shared sacrifice across this country to solve our problems. the only thing that would be permissible in this legislation is to ensure that members of congress and fellow -- and federal employees are both
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frozen together as is ensured in this legislation. i urge my colleagues to support this rule, bring this bill to the floor, support this underlying resolution and remember that until $52,381 per man, woman, and child in this country reads zero, we're going to have these discussions again and again and again. the president, mr. speaker, i'm told is planning to produce a budget, it's not going to be this month, it may come next month. you know, in the two years i have been here as a member of congress, the president's budgets never, ever, ever paid down one penny of this debt. we're complicit in this, mr. speaker. and together we can get ourselves out of it. i yield back the balance of my time and move the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: all
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time for the bait has expired. the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. mr. hastings: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the time for a vote on adoption. s that 156-minute vote on ordering the previous question. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 229, the nays are 194. the previous question is ordered the. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, on that i ask the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are
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ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 227, the nays are 322. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the house will be in order. the house will be in order.
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members, please remove conversations from the floor. the house will be in order. pursuant to 15 u.s. code 10224-a and the order of the house of january 3, 2013, the following members on the part of the house to the joint economic committee. the clerk: mr. campbell of california, mr. duffy of wisconsin, mr. amash of michigan, mr. paulson of michigan, mr. hanna of new york, ms. loretta sanchez of california, mr. cummings of maryland, mr. delaney of
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maryland. the speaker pro tempore: the chair would entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. in february, we celebrate national recreational therapy month. leading a healthy life means not only the absence of illness but a level of physical, cognitive, emotional, social and leisure well-being which is the reason for recreational therapy. they touch the lives of individuals facing life-changing disease and disability all across the nation. these professionals help individuals navigate these challenges, achieve healthy incomes -- outcomes and ultimately an overall better quality of life.
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having worked in this profession for 28 years i witnessed firsthand how the services profession made significant differences in the lives of so many. these services are provided by professionals nationally certified by the national council for therapeutic recreation certification. recreational therapy only angst to improve the individual's functioning and keeps them active, healthy and keeps them functioning as long as possible. i want to congratulate them for the services that they provide each and every day. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. lee: thank you, mr. speaker. the upcoming shelby, montgomery case presents a direct threat to section 5 of the voting rights act of 1965 which is the
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most effective civil rights legislation ever enacted by congress. now, the voting rights act of 1965 was passed just one year after i graduated from high school. growing up in el paso, texas, i vividly remember the days of jim crow, segregation and the poll tax. should the supreme court rule against the justice department and overturn this important legislation, minority communities will lose mean of their voting protection. later this month, i intend to join my colleagues in the congressional black caucus to listen to the oral arguments for this case at the supreme court. many of us were part of the 390-33 majority, along with 98 senators who voted to re-authorize the voting rights act in 2006. we agreed there is still a compelling need to protect and preserve the voting rights of all americans. after all, this right that lies at the very heart of our democracy must not be eroded.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. paulsen: mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: please take your conversations out the chamber. mr. paulsen: national heart months reminds americans to take care of their cardiovascular health. each year 700,000 americans suffer a heart attack and approximately 600,000 die from causes related to heart disease. nearly everyone knows a family member, a colleague or a friend who has dealt with this firsthand. while it is the leading cause of death among men and women, we can promote overall heart health. one example is the work of the plymouth rotary club who have teamed up to start a new
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project called heart safe plymouth, a plan that promotes education and training on the emergency treatment of sudden cardiac arrest. i encourage all americans to follow their example of involvement and action. let's use american heart month as an opportunity to learn more about heart disease and prevention so we can all live longer and healthier lives. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the house will be in order. >> the impacts of sequester will be felt in every district and state. san diego is home to major research universities and technology firms. last year firms working on everything from improving cancer diagnostics to protecting our computer security received more than $130 million from the national science foundation and $850
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million from the national institutes of health. in all san diego received more than 1,760 grants. i recently received a letter from a rising therapeutics, a small biomedical group in my district. this small team of dedicated researchers have been working against the flu and fever. if the sequester goes into effect they have to lay off researchers. this will not only hurt jobs, families, it will stop critical research in the biomedical sciences and stifle innovation in our labs and universities. congress must act now so that america and san diego do not fall behind our international competitors and so we continue to be on the cutting edge of technology. we must keep investing in our future. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: are there further one-minute requests? hearing no other requests, the chair lays before the house the
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following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. culberson of texas for today and mr. johnson of georgia for friday, february 15. without objection, the requests are granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. the house will be in order. mr. roe: i thank the speaker. before starting this special order, i'd like to yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman from mississippi, mr. palazzo. mr. palazzo: i want to thank the good doctor from tennessee for yielding me some time. mr. speaker, in two weeks we face one of the most devastating cuts to our military that our country has ever seen. literally a worst-case scenario
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for our men and women in uniform all in just two weeks. for a year and a half, several of my colleagues and i have been discussing with anyone who will listen the devastating impact of these automatic budget cuts, but still we have stalled and delayed so where we are where no one in their right mind will be. if these stop a number of agencies will be severely impacted as well. defense cuts are bad enough. unfortunately these cuts affect a lot more than just defense. these automatic cuts affect food inspections at the department of agriculture, f.b.i. investigations, t.s.a. screening at airports and others. no agency is untouched. one example in mississippi alone, it is anticipated that these automatic budget cuts could cost as many as 845 jobs in the education sector alone. these are the people we task with educating our future
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generations and ensuring our country's success. we are now hearing of furloughs across the government agencies. this would mean that families that are dependent only that paycheck to put food in their children's mouths and clothes on their backs will be forced to stay home as much as one day a week for up to 22 weeks. this means millions of dollars in lost pay for dedicated public servants because congress and this president cannot get their act together and do what is right for our country. at this point, the house has passed two separate plans that were never even considered by the senate. ultimately, inaction by the president and senate are allowing us to inch closer and closer to the disgusting reality of these cuts. even more disappointing than the senate and president's inaction is the ridiculous position of many that seem completely content to throw their hands up and say we have done all we can do. but i am perhaps the most disappointed in my colleagues
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that want these cuts to take place in the name of spending cuts only. what good are spending cuts when you can't defend the nation you are trying to save and destroying our economy in the process? i am in favor of reducing our national debt and balancing our budget as much as anyone in this congress, but i refuse to do it on the backs of our men and women in uniform and their families. i will not jeopardize their safety and security, yet some in this body want to do just that. it is foolish. no, naive to believe that allowing $1 trillion in spending cuts to our national defense is responsible or sustainable. many of my colleagues seem to have forgotten that these automatic cuts were intended to be the absolute worst thing we could do. it was designed to force bipartisan action on addressing our spending addiction in this congress. it is the unintended consequences of an absolute failure by the supercommittee.
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so instead of using a scalpel, we're using a meat ax and our failure to act will seem apparent unless we reverse this action. despite repeated requests for more details on what affects these cuts will have, only now, two weeks before they are scheduled to take place, have we received any information from this administration. the military services have let us know exactly what affect they think sequestration will have and it is not a pretty sight. we are talking about one of the biggest drivers of small businesses, a major employer of our nation's veterans and a major economic driver in our economy. and some here are willing to see a slash for no benefit whatsoever. but civilians are not the only issue here. we are downsizing our force to deal with the cuts already in place, $487 billion worth. we will have to cut further into our active duty if these
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cuts are not rolled back and replaced responsibly. in my district, over 10,000 people walk through the gates of engel ship building in mississippi every day. it's just one ship -- if just one ship contract is canceled as a result of sequestration, we're talking about thousands of people being immediately unemployed and layoffs in small businesses in over 49 states. these are some of the most patriotic and hardest working people i have ever met in my life. they have dedicated their lives to building the greatest naval ships the world has ever seen. so this week i spoke with our most senior military leaders and they told us very directly, if you want our military to continue doing what it's doing today, then we can't give you another dollar. there are similar stories across the nation, plants building the largest planes to the smallest component parts. these are the stories of real people who go to work every day
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to make america a better place. these skills are not easily relearned. once they go away, they are gone forever. and i will not stand by and allow inaction by my colleagues to kill american jobs. i ask my colleagues, is this what you want? do you honestly believe this is for the best? i beg anyone to explain to me how we are a better country if these cuts take place. mr. speaker, i implore our leaders, the senate and the president to act. the future safety and security of our nation is at stake. i yield back. mr. roe: i thank the gentleman for yielding back. mr. speaker, we're going to take the next hour or so, the doctor's caucus, dr. gingrey, myself, dr. harris, and we're going to speak about the affordable care act, how we got where we are, the plan to save medicare, and other health care issues. i came to this congress after a 31-year medical practice in johnson city, tennessee.
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just a doctor out each day in east tennessee taking care of patients. and i made a decision that i didn't like the direction this country was headed in health care and i wanted to run for congress to be here for that reason. well, it turned out that two congresses ago we did have a debate on the health care issue. we had nine physicians in our health care caucus and not one of us was consulted about the health care bill. not one of us was brought in the loop and said, what do you think? well, we had a -- an extensive debate, i will admit, in the house. this bill was passed on a pure party-line vote in november of 2009. and on christmas eve the senate passed a bill that had not been vetted, had not been heard in the house, was not debated in the house. a completely different bill. but because of the rules in the senate, it never got heard here and was not debated fully in the senate. that bill was passed, will soon be four years ago. we thought -- three years ago,
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i mean. we thought that we'd have an opportunity at the supreme court -- as the supreme court looked at this, those challenges were brought, to overturn this bill and we're going to spend the next hour explaining why we don't think it was the right prescription for the health care of the citizens of this country. and i bring an ex tentsive -- extensive knowledge about a health care reform bill we did in our state of tennessee. the biggest problem with the health care in this country is not the quality of care, certainly we can always do better andfications want to do better -- and physicians want to do better and have new techniques and new innovative medicines that we use, but the biggest problem with health care in america is the cost of that care. i got to see it every day in my practice. we're going to the -- where going to the hospital could bankrupt families if they didn't have proper insurance. it was more expensive to come in and so the number one driver was cost. number two was we had -- there's no question that we had a group of people out who worked every single day of their lives and could not afford health insurance. it was not affordable for them.
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i would see it in my community where you would have a -- let's say a carpenter who would work and during the winter they didn't get to work too much. but they would work and maybe make $20,000 or $25,000 a year. their wife may work at a local diner maybe and make $20,000 or $25,000 a year and together where we live they could make $40,000 or $50,000, maybe in combine -- combined income, they and they could live ok -- income, and they could live ok but they could not afford health insurance. and thirdly, we had a liability crisis in this country. so what did the affordable care act actually do? well, it did increase access but it increased access mainly, the best i can tell, through massive expansion of a failed system called medicaid. and the medicaid system right now in this country is broken and needs to be reformed. we did not reform it with this bill. so that's one thing it did. two, it did not touch liability. and we can go into that a little later but the liability crisis still exists.
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some states, my state of tennessee has done something, the state of texas, california, other states have been successful in liability reform and that has helped. but the president here tuesday night, we were all sitting in this chamber, and amazingly in the seat just right below you here, the president said with a straight face that this, his bill, this affordable care act act, so-called obamacare, had lowered costs. i was astonished by that. because it clearly has not done that at all. let me just go through a few things. i serve as the chairman of the health employment labor and pension subcommittee and the education work force committee. so if you have a private health insurance plan, that plan will come through my subcommittee. let me go over a couple of things that we found. we've had numerous hearings over the past three years about this and this is recent data right here. the -- president obama's health care law will push about seven
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million people out of their job-based insurance coverage. nearly twice the current estimate. that was just in the last week or two that estimate has been, according to the latest estimates of guess who? the congressional budget office. not phil roe and not some congressman, but the c.b.o. believes that. so twice what they thought it would do. spending on health care is up and we estimate as much as $4,500 per family since this bill has come into play. that is not pushing the cost of health care down. so we see that. and one of the things that this bill did, i think which was good and bad, mr. speaker, was we allowed millions or allowed millions of young people under the age of 26 to be on their parents' health care plan. that sounded like a good idea and if you have a mom and dad that pay for that, it probably is a good idea if they pay for it. and i know one of the great
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points of my life, when my three children got out on their own and paid their own health insurance. that was the biggest raise i probably ever got was getting out of college and paying their own health insurance. but what happened was the way the bill was written, act wears can no longer -- act wears can no longer -- actuaries can no longer charge that care. if a person my age is buying an individual policy it will cost about six times what a young person under 26, because i'm much more likely to need health insurance or need my health care plan. well, the actuaries now, this bill only allows a 3-1, so that means a young person is going to pay two to three times, that person out there paying for that health insurance coverage, then they otherwise would have. i have a good friend of mine who's in the individual health care market at home and all three of my children, i've bought them individual plans and i specifically remember exactly how much i wrote the check for. he said, dr. roe, he said, i
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was having these plans for about $100 a month, just a basic health care plan. some less than that, depending on risk. immediately after that bill passed, those rates tripled. they were $280 a month. all of a sudden now if you're an individual that isn't affordable. most people don't have an extra $200 or $300 a month right now in a tight economy to do that. so we've made it less affordable for a lot of young people. more accessible but less affordable. i'd like to introduce my colleague and co-chair of the doctor's caucus and fellow ob-gyn physician from georgia, my good friend, dr. gingrey. mr. gingrey: mr. chairman, i thank the gentleman from tennessee for yielding time. answered has already alluded to some of the things that i am going to say in my remarks. but the most important thing that he stated, on tuesday night president obama stood here in this chamber and he
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gave his state of the union address, he said, and quote, patience -- patients enjoy stronger protections than ever before. already the affordable care act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. that ends his quote. well, he, president obama, obviously didn't get the memo. we must not have read the same c.b.o. report, mr. speaker. obamacare is not slowing the growth of health care costs. obamacare is driving up the costs. jeopardizing insurance coverage and placing exsive burdens on small business -- excessive burdens on small businesses, limiting their potential for growth. in 2010, president obama and the democrats assured us that their health care law would lower costs, it would cover millions of uninsured americans. well, if -- as dr. roe said, fast forward three years and we have seen nothing, nothing but
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broken promises and this enormous price tag. just last week the c.b.o., the congressional budget office, the score keeper, the unbiased score keeper that works for congress, reported that under obamacare, health care costs will increase and seven million americans will lose their coverage. these are the facts, despite any state of the union rhetoric. young americans will also be severely impacted with an exorbitant rise in health insurance premiums, due to a provision in obamacare. a lot of people are not aware of this, mr. speaker. this provision requires of insurance companies to reduce their rates for seniors, a laudable goal, premium costs for individuals, though, under the age of 40 are going to significantly rise to even out that balance. by limiting these, we call them
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age-ban discounts, that's called for in obamacare, a 3-1 ratio. so, someone let's say, an example that's in their very early 60's, that he not eligible for medicare at age 65. and they already possibly have multiple systems, diseases we say in medical speak, and are on many prescription drugs, expensive drugs. they're at much greater risk in regard to an insurance premium coverage busting the ceiling on that every year. but under obamacare it says, their premiums cannot be more than three times the premium of someone who is 28 years old, 10 feet tall and bulletproof.
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and so as a result these are some of the problems that that creates within these ex changes -- exchanges. it will absolutely discourage the younger people from buying insurance. they'll pay the fine. they will not pay those higher premiums so that they stay within that 3-1 ratio. it will likely force young, healthy individuals out of the insurance market, that's some of those seven million we're talking about that are going to lose their insurance because of this. let me just give a real specific and then i'll yield back to the gentleman so he can yield time to our other colleagues. but a 27-year-old earning $33,500 a year, premiums are expected to jump from $2,400 a year to almost $3,200 a year. this is an outrageous increase in cost that young people can't afford. if they get a job in this current climate where we've had
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7.6% or higher unemployment the entire time that president obama has been in office, they're not going to be able to afford these premiums. and they clearly are not going to pay for them. obamacare's negatively impacting the insurance market on two fronts. it forces rising premium costs on the young and it increases the total uninsured population, as i stated earlier. so, at this point i'll yield back to the gentleman from tennessee and i hope to remain with my colleagues for the remained rt of the hour as we continue this -- remainder of this hour as we continue this colloquy. mr. roe: i'd now like to yield time to dr. andy harris from maryland, one, andy is an o.b. an theseologists and i say -- antheseologists and i say this to my good friend, i spent a good deal of my adult life waiting for that.
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mr. harris: thank you very much. i want to thank the gentleman from tennessee and the gentleman from georgia. following up on what the gentleman from georgia said, mr. speaker, the president stood there and told america that health care costs have gone down. i tonight know if the president has been to the pharmacy or to the doctor or bought an insurance policy lately but the fact of the matter is the provides has gone up. in some -- matter is the price has gone up. in some cases dramatically, especially for the young who are actually the highest percent of the uninsured of any age group. look, it's just the facts. folks in their -- when they're 18, 19, 20, 25, they don't think anything's ever going to happen to them so they don't boy a policy. -- buy a policy and the policy -- i sat down with someone whose daughter was insured and she had one of the h.s.a.
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accounts, those health savings account. $2,500 goes not health savings account. the first $2,500 she would pay, and above that the insurance would kick in. it was an affordable policy. it used to be less than $100 a month. imagine that, $100 a month guaranteeing that young person, god forbid they get into a bad accident, god forbid they develop a tumor at an early age, they have coverage for the really expensive things that you may need. that was affordable. i think most people would say $80 a month is affordable. that policy went up to $110. and this time the renewal was 22% more than that and it's going to get worse because the president now in the affordable care act, obamacare, as he prefers it to be called, actually reduces the amount that those health savings accounts can hold.
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it's now limited to $2,500. you can't get your premium lower by saying, ok, i'll take a little more risk, increase my health savings account. so those costs are going to skyrocket. and when they skyrocket, the gentleman from georgia is absolutely correct. a young person is going to say, i'll pay the penalty. so a young person who may have had insurance before, because it was only $80 a month and it protected us from having to pay for those medical costs, god forbid that young person had a catastrophic illness or injury, that person's going to make what looks like a logical choice and say i'll pay the penalty and drop my insurance. it's going to have exactly the opposite effect of what was intended and predictably so when you force those premiums up. the president stood here and said that health care costs went down. i got to tell you, i have still
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yet to run into someone at my town hall meetings saying, good job, andy, my health insurance costs are going down. it's not. it's going up. let me address because the gentleman from tennessee touched on it. one of the problems that the president didn't consider, tort reform, and tort reform is particularly, you know, you have three physicians here, two of whom spent their professional lives in labor and delivery suite delivering baby, practicing obstetrics, i practice obstetric an these yoling, epidurals, spinals. i finished my training 24 years ago. at that time, to show you what the effect of not having tort reform is, the cesarean section rate for american women having a baby was 15% to 17%. one in six to one in seven
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women would have to have a cesarean section. now, 28 years has passed. i don't know if the speaker's aware that the cesarean section is now 33%, 35%, in some hospitals 40%, up to as high as 70% in some hospitals. that's in one generation. i will tell you as a physician, not much has changed for patients in one generation. what has changed is that you don't find an obstetrician who is willing to take the risk of doing a delivery in a high-risk patient, a normal delivery, because of the medical malpractice exposure. not that they would commit it but they would be charged with it. that a baby doesn't come out perfect, because that's the way -- that's the way the world is. and yet they would be charged, brought into a court of law and lose millions of dollars in a
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settlement. what do they do? they choose -- and who can blame them to do it? mr. speaker, those women who are watching, they know exactly what i'm talking about. because they know if it was their daughter or granddaughter or friend of theirs, they all know someone who's had a cesarean section. the women who are in the audience think back to one generation ago, it was much more rare. so what's happened? we haven't had tort reform. but that's not all. if that was it and, you know, by the way the cost to the system is billions of dollars a year of those extra cesarean sections. billions of dollars directly to the health care system. if that is all, we say, maybe we can tolerate that, the doubling the rate of cesarean sections. that's not all. when those women go to see their obstetrician now, one generation ago when i started, when i had my first child, my wife went to an obstetrician.
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it was a solo practice. and that obstetrician apologized to my wife and said, you know what, i'm sorry but every other weekend someone may have to cover my practice so i may not be able to guarantee that i'm there with you at your delivery. let's fast forward one generation, 28 years. you can hardly find an obstetrician in a solo practice any more. they simply can't afford the medical malpractice premium. they may never have been sued in their life and they have to pay over $100,000 a year just for the medical malpractice premium never having been sued in their life. so what happens? they're all forced into large groups and now that same conversation, if my daughter now goes to see an obstetrician, that conversation would run like, you know, ma'am , you're going to have to see everyone in the group during your pregnancy and we have seven or eight people in the group so every time you got to see someone else so everyone
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gets to see you because, you know, what we don't know who's going to be there the day that you deliver. now is that good care? is that good -- is that a good relationship, that woman develops with her obstetrician when she doesn't know who will be there to deliver, in fact, she may not know who will see her next time she's in the office? one of the most important times in her life. we have competely changed the doctor-patient relationship because we don't have tort reform in this country. and if it was just the rate of cesarean section doubling or just the fact that you have to see seven or eight people and you don't really know who's going to deliver you on a given day, we might accept that. but it goes beyond that, mr. speaker. because what's happened now? a good highly trained obstetrician stops delivering babies in their 40's or 50's because they have developed
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their practice. they've seen those patients. they just take care of their gynecology problems and they spend the last 20 years in their career not delivering a baby. having delivered them for 20 years, gaining all that experience, the most experienced obstetricians don't deliver our babies any more. and when you add that up -- and why don't they? because they -- because if they stop delivering babies and promise their insurance company they will not deliver a baby, all of a sudden that $100,000 premium becomes $20,000. and if you were in your 40's or 50's and could afford to do that in your practice, you might say, you know what, it makes sense for me to stop doing this. so when you add up all the things that happen, because we refuse the president in his affordable care act, refused to have real tort reform and it
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happens because it happened in california. nationally he refused to have it. and the gentleman from georgia is very familiar with this because bill deals with this. because of that, we have a cesarean section rate that's twice as high as it ought to be and some people say it will be three or four times as high as it ought to be. and we have women who never develop a close doctor-patient relationship with their obstetrician because you can't. you're seeing a group of seven or eight really because of the malpractice premiums now spread out, frequently someone else pays it. they may be part of a hospital group, for instance. and finally, our most experienced physicians for women in a time -- you know, you talk about taking care of children, you got to start right at the beginning. you have to have the most experienced person there. i've been at thousands of deliveries. you know, 99% of the time they
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go all right. but when they don't go all right, you want the most experienced person there. and mr. speaker, our lack of tort reform means we no longer have it. we have entirely changed the way we deliver obstetric care. you say, look, let's not talk about cost. let's talk about access to experienced personalized care for our women having babies, it's virtually gone because the president and our counterparts across the capitol in the senate refuse to take up the issue of tort reform and restore some commonsense good medical care to americans. i won't even get into -- i use obstetrics as an example. we can go into neurosurgeon. i'll leave it at that. we can improve the access and
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quality of medical care, and it was lacking in the state of the union address. so i'll yield back to the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i felt a little deja vu, dr. harris, after walking out of a delivery room for some of the reasons that dr. harris brought up. i'll like to yield to my friend from georgia, dr. gingrey. mr. gingrey: the gentleman from tennessee is generous with his time. i did can want to follow on what the gentleman, the doctor from maryland was talking about tort reform. yes, he covered that very, very clearly and pretty completely. but there are other things in this law, the so-called affordable care -- patient protection and affordable care act and, yes, i think president obama proudly likes to have it called obamacare.
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maybe he hopes one day that will be his legacy. but there are provisions that particularly in these exchanges that are being set up in all 50 states, the states that are doing it and the territories and the district of columbia that basically say what best practices are for the different physician specialties, including the specialty of obstetrics and guy coling, which dr. roe and i -- gynecology, which dr. and i practiced for many years. but in these -- in these descriptions of what's -- what's the best practice for a general surgeon or an internist or a pediatrician. in some cases they're not carbon copy of what our specialty society recommend, the american college of ob-gyn,
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for example, does a wonderful job of making sure that each one of their members gets a monthly bulletin and current updates on what the best practices are for our specialty. i mean, based on science, the best and brightest, and yet this law may ask us to do something that goes against that. i have introduced a bill, mr. speaker, to protect our physicians. if they are following the guidelines of their specialty, or on the other hand, if they're following the guidelines of some government bureaucrat says the best standard of care, if they're doing that and they have a bad outcome, this provider shield would protect those physicians from liability. it's something that's
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desperately needed. needed because of this law. there is another bill that i have introduced called the scope act. scope is an acronym. it is safeguarding care of patients everywhere, which also would prevent the secretary, ms. sebelius, or whomever, for saying what qualifies a physician to be on a provider group in one of these exchanges? what she says or what their specialty society says? and so, again, these are things that, you know, we're working very hard to correct i think a very bad situation and we, members of the doctors caucus, we on this side of the aisle will continue to fight for that. and i thank the gentleman and i yield back to dr. roe. mr. roe: i thank the gentleman for yielding. just to carry on what dr. gingrey and dr. harris brought up, let me share with you about affordability. and dr. harris was talking about young people. it's obvious that the president -- i don't know who writes the check for health insurance in
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his home, but he hadn't looked at the check, whoever's writing it, if he didn't figure out that costs have gone up. dr. harris, i may be a little more than a generation past where you are, but when i quit operating and dob obstetrics, i had a -- obstetrics, i had an 8% cesarean section. why did that happen? when i came back to the army in memphis, i trained at the university of tennessee in memphis and i had two years of training and then i had -- in the military for two years and came back and finished my training. all the malpractice left the state of tennessee. the tennessee medical association set up an organization called the state volunteer mutual insurance company, and this insurance company was a mutual company so money that we didn't pay in came back to us at the end of the year. wasn't owned by some stock-traded company. strictry just to give us malpractice -- strictly just to give us malpractice insurance liability that i keep until
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this day. in the entire time that that company has been in existence, over half the malpractice premium dollars have not gone to injured people. they've gone to lawyers, both plaintiff and defense lawyers. what a terrible system that is to try to compensate someone who's actually been injured, we have no way to do it. less than 40 cents on the dollar that we pay in for 35 years has actually gone to people that have been hurt. that's a terrible system. . we need a better system. my malpractice premiums were $3,000 a year. last year, it was $74,000 and the patients didn't get better quality and better access, they just got higher costs. that's why we need to address that issue, i think and you are spot-on, dr. harris. mr. harris: to follow up on his
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point, i don't know if americans realize, the gentleman is absolutely right. if you have a case litigated, a birth injury claim, and it goes to a jury and there is an award, $6 million, not an unusual award, 40% of that award, $2.4 million, plus expenses, goes just to the attorney. is that fair? you have an injured baby and we aren't go to go decide -- but is it fair when the court renders a decision that half the money goes to take care of that baby. doesn't seem fair. i want to briefly go back to some of the issues in the affordable care act. one that really struck me is the medical device tax. i know taxes are -- the president likes taxes.
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there are 21 in the affordable care act. he stood up there two days ago talking about increasing taxes is the solution to our problem. let me tell you what the problem with that medical device tax is and i'm going to go back to my experience, again over 28 years. i remember training in the early 1980's and some of the people watching, mr. speaker, might know that if they had a kidney stone 30 years ago and had to have an operation for that kidney stone, just how serious that was. i did anesthesia for many of them. big incisions on your back and on your side. week in the hospital. you could get infections and it was a terrible operation to remove a kidney stone. two years ago, i had the opportunity to work in urology operating rooms and there was a kidney stone removal. i said, wow, i hadn't seen one
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in a while and going to give the anesthesia for it and prepare for a big operation. they said no, we are doing this with a laser. laser? that kidney stone is deep inside. it's inside your body. they said, no, you have to see what we got. they bring in a laser machine in . a caggetetter about a wire and about a yard long and it's fiber optic, oh my gosh, thinner than the lead in a pencil and it's flexible and they thread this up and i won't go through the exact anatomy and thread it to the stone and fire a laser through this and they break the kidney stone up into tiny little pieces or evaporate it and it just comes out. there is no incision. these patients go home the same
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day. now, why? because of medical innovation. because some company took a risk to develop that laser product. i'll tell you, it's not cheap. but i will tell you it's a whole lot cheaper than several days in hospital. the president said we want to pay by the quality ffment i have a kidney stone, my hands are going up for that newest method because it's the quality method. and what does the affordable care act do? it taxes it. if that person had the old operation, there are no taxes involved. but if they have that new device, there's a tax on it. i learned in the legislatures there is a saying if you want to discourage something, tax it. so we have these arguments over tobacco. you want to discourage tobacco, let's tax it. most states have taxed it and
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the federal government has taxed it. i guess -- i don't understand is that the same thinking we have about innovative medical devices and not a good idea because that's what this bill does is taxes them. one of two things is going to happen. either that tax is going to be passed on, because that's what businesses do when you tax businesses. they pass them on. or we won't innovate as much. that would be a disaster. because the key to improving our health care quality going into the future, especially with the american ingenuity and innovation and exeter tease is innovating. and we are taxing innovation. it makes no sense, mr. speaker. i hope we move a bill to remove that taxation. it's a very bad idea for the quality of health care in the united states, because some of
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these new products, whether for treating diabetes or kidney stones, is amazing new technology. and i yield back to the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: we could all stand here for hours. i certainly could with the innovative new devices that i have used that have helped patients shorten their length of stay, shorten their pain. i hope we don't go into the middle ages of technology because we could spend literally hours talking about what we have seen and i would -- before i go to costs, this device tax will cost 43,000 jobs and the fear is we will producing these offshore and lose jobs. that makes no sense whatsoever. and it was dr. milton friedman who said if you want less of something, tax it. fairly simple concept.
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back to the initial cost, let me go over a couple of things, not just behavioral things but in a recent gallup survey, type concerns cited by small business owners was rising health care costs. remember, the president stood right here and i listened to the debate and so did dr. gingrey, hours on end, about how this is going to lower the average person's health care insurance premium by $2,500 a year. you remember that? i heard it over and over right in this well and right here at the dais and the opposite happened. it did not bring the cost curve down and making it less affordable. on with this gallup survey. 74% of respondents reporting that rising health care costs are hurting their businesses. 61% of small business owners,
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who are not hiring, point to worries about potential costs of health care as a reason for why they're not hiring. that ought to be a clear signal to everyone here we need to deal with costs. and let me say what we do not need to do and i should have stated this at the offset of this hour, health care decisions should be made between physicians, family and that patient. that's who should be making them. not insurance companies and certainly not some bureaucrat here in washington that thinks they know what's best for that patient. dr. harris knows what is best because that's what he has done for the past 30 years. our cost issue is we're not dealing with it -- are there good things in this bill? sure. there are things that i like in the affordable health care act and question can talk about that and dr. gingrey, i yield to you.
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mr. gingrey: i wanted to follow on to this line of discussion in regard to costs. medicare, 1965, in the way doctors were paid -- it's my understanding and i think i'm correct on this, just like private insurance. 80/20 indem any ti coverage and the cost was accelerating in 1998 the balanced budget act of 1997, 1998, put in this formula to control medicare spending, particularly spending that goes to the health care providers, which, by the way, is only 12% of the total medicare spending. but in that regard, that was the greatest concern. we got to control how much the doctors are getting paid. they put in this formula, called
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s.g.r., sustainable growth rate, based on sole calculation, but it was flawed. it was flawed badly. and for the last, i would say, 10 years, when you calculate that formula for the expenditures for doctors' fees for the previous year, the formula would call for a cut, 1%, 2%, 4%. and over those 10 years, it's up to 26.5%. well, thank goodness, congress, we members of congress on both sides of the aisle, have the ability to mitigate that, and we have done that. we know the formula is flawed and needs to be repealed and replaced and yet we have not been able to do that. i'll tell you this, though. in this house of representatives, in this 113th congress, with republican control under speaker boehner and leader cantor and committee
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chairmen like fred upton and dave camp, we are going to fix that flawed formula once and for all. we're not going to keep putting band-aids on it and kicking the can down the road. that is our pledge for the american people. and i hope our colleagues in the other chamber controlled by the democratic party will go along on this. because what we realize, all of the doctors in the house and in the senate, they understand that if you enact those cuts that are -- will come due again at the end of this year, almost a 30% cut in what you reimburse for medicare providers, there will be no doctors. people will have a medicare card, but they will not be able to find a physician to take care of them. and this obamacare bill did
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nothing, which except enact a provision, which i know my colleague from tennessee wants to talk about, that makes it worse and doubles down on it. even if we repeal s.g.r. and figure out a better way to reimburse and pay physicians based on quality of care rather than volume, that's a good provision, there is a provision in obamacare that could trump and make our efforts go for naut. i yield back to the gentleman from tennessee, because he has a repeal bill for that. mr. roe: i do want to say to the american people that 47 million people, including dr. gingrey and i are on medicare and we made a solemn promise to our seniors in 1965. it was a $3 billion program and why was it put in place?
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many people retired from their businesses at that point and had no access to care. again, lack of access to affordable health insurance. $3 billion program. there was no congressional budget office at that time, but the analyzers said we believe in 25 years, this will be a $12 billion program, maybe balloon to $15 billion. the actual number in 1990 was $110 billion. today, over 550 billion in 2013. we made a promise, 2.9% of their income, employer pays $1.45 and you pay 1.45%. we pay in, as i have, probably about -- average person,
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$117,000 over a lifetime but get out over $300,000 in services. we know we can't pay $100,000 in and get three times that much service out. one of the reasons, it is the same issue with social security. fewer and fewer people paying in and people living longer and longer and longer. and by the way, each day in this country, over 10,000 baby boomers hit age 65. 3.5 million a year are getting to 65 years of age. affordable care act and you have to laugh at the lingo where savings means you take money out of something. and investment, -- you have to learn the language up here, but about $700 billion was taken out of the medicare program savings and we have 3.5 million people
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being added every year. how are we going to control this cost? there is a plan called the independent payment advisory board and what that is a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats that are appointed by the president, confirmed by the senate and here's a little tricky part of the legislation, the president is supposed to be appointing these people this year. if they are not appointed to that board, one person, one, that is the director of h.h.s., kathleen sebelius has the power to act on this, one person, if those members are not confirmed. most people don't know that. i have heard the pros about how wonderful this is. and i want to refer people and i go back to new england journal of medicine and an attorney in the new england journal of medicine wrote an article in june of 2011, not pro or con but
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about the independent payment advisory board and dr. gingrey is correct, congress changed this payment to doctors, so-called s.g.r., sustainable growth rate so patients would maintain their access to their doctor. . if we look back the last 25 years -- let's say we fix s.g.r., like we're talking about, so patients maintain the access, in a retrospective look, the c.m.s. actuary -- this is not me saying this -- the c.m.s. actuary questioned if this was achievable knowing that the ipab targeted growth rates would have been met in four of the last 25 years and would have approximated the sustainable growth rate, meaning a cut would happen. we have almost no power to change this.
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now here's what i find interesting. it says here in the bill you are absolutely correct. you can't ration care. you can't do any of those things. that may be true, but if patients don't have access to their doctors, you in effect have rationed care. it's that simple. this is what someone said about -- peter orszag, the former office of budget manager here in the obama white house, the ipab is the single biggest yielding of power since the creation of the federal reserve. that's an astonishing statement when you hear about it. that's why i'm so passionate about maintaining the decisionmaking power with patients and with their families and their doctor and not some bureaucratic board up here and also certainly not insurance companies. i agree with that. and i think that -- and i think the other comment that i've seen made, the independent payment advisory board puts important health care payment and policy decisions in the
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hands of an independent body that has far too little accountability. that's one of the things you may like it or not, but we in congress have been able to change these things. it will require a 60 votes in the senate to do it. quite frankly, with my good friends on the other side of the building here, you can't get 60 senators to agree whether the sun came up in the east. so the benchmark is very, very high. i want to finish -- mr. speaker, how much time do we have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has eight minutes remaining. mr. roe: i thank the speaker. i want to finish by spending the last little bit of time on medicare, and it is such an important part of our health care system that i want to and i certainly know the folks on my side of the aisle and i
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think the other side of the aisle want to strengthen this program for future generations. we've made a promise to our citizens in this country that when they are at retirement age they will have at least an affordable health insurance product available to them. the funny thing when i turned 65, the day before i had a health insurance plan. it had a prescription drug benefit plan. it had a hospitalization part. it had a part that paid for my physician services. the day i turned 65, i have a part a, a part b, a part c and a part d i can have. well, nothing happened except i got one-day-older. why when a push turns 65 wouldn't you have a health insurance plan that offers you those various options in your plan and you pick what's in your best interest and need? remember that in the affordable care act, the federal government now decides what's an essential benefits package.
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you don't make that decision with your family and your doctor. a federal bureaucrat decides the goods and services you must purchase. we have out here, and some of the facts on -- i mentioned already in medicare, and more of the things we have to do i think in medicare, and i know my colleagues will confirm this is that currently one in 10 physicians are not accepting new medicare patients. in some areas it may be as many as three in 10 primary care or as many as half won't. we have a huge shortage of primary care physicians in this country. we have -- we know that the hospital insurance trust fund is insolvent. it may run out of money as soon as 2016. my colleague, i'll yield to my colleague, dr. harris. mr. harris: absolutely. i thank the gentleman from tennessee for yielding. the gentleman's absolutely correct. we made a promise to our seniors, the people who worked
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all their lives, we made a promise we're going to take care of you. but we have to be honest with how long we can do that and what are we going to do for my children, for people who are in their 20's or 30's, how are we going to preserve that system and preserve their ability to choose their physician and allow their physician to choose what's best for them? because that's really what's critical. that we preserve that in the system. and i will tell you that the gentleman is right. if you -- for the seniors who are watching this afternoon, they know that in many parts of this country if their primary care provider, their internist, their family doctor retires, moves to another state, it's going to be hard to find someone. not because doctors don't want to take care of medicare patients. we have taken care of thousands of them in our lives, our professional careers. but the fact of the matter is that every year the government
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threatens to cut the reimbursement, the payment for services by 25% and hasn't had an increase for inflation in 10 years. this kind of uncertainty means that we may end up looking like the other program the federal government runs, medicaid, where the statistics are dire. we're -- where way less than half of doctors can't see them because the federal government decides they can't pay. where less than half of the primary doctors don't see medicare patients because the government has said, we just can't pay and we're not going to. where hospitals now are wondering how are they going to staff and how are they going to keep up with the best medical equipment and best medical delivery because they're afraid the government's not going to pay. and who can blame them? every year the government threatens to cut the pay to our seniors' doctors 25%.
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and every year the government threatens to cut the pay to our hospitals taking care of our seniors. every year this goes on. it has to stop. i hope the speaker and the gentleman from tennessee will agree we have to address this seriously, honestly with a view to two things -- preserving the benefit for people who are in retirement and keeping the system going for every american, for an american born today, february 14, a child born today should have a system that they know is going to be there, not bankrupt, but a system that's there when they reach those golden years and we can do it if we all work together. i urge the president -- i was hoping i'd hear more. i didn't. the president is still not willing to come and talk about preserving medicare because, mr. speaker, you know the
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trustees said it goes bankrupt in 10 years. the current system will not be there for everyone retiring, the 10,000 people retiring today, february 14, 10,000 people enter medicare. that system will not be there in 10 years. it will be bankrupt. so the current system doesn't even protect our current seniors, much less the baby born today. we've got to deal with it. mr. speaker, i urge the president to step up to the plate, be serious. our colleagues on the other side of the capitol, step up to the plate. this program is too important to let go bankrupt within 10 years. i yield back to the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i thank the gentleman for yielding. he's absolutely spot on. one of the reasons he ran for congress and i ran for congress is to preserve this great program for our seniors. i'm absolutely committed to do it. let me give you a couple more facts before we end. the actuary, the medicare program, this is not me but this is the medicare actuary
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said that congressional action will be required to ensure that our seniors have continued access to care. in may, 2012, he said, it's reasonable to expect that congress would find it necessary to legislatively override or otherwise modify the reductions in the future to ensure that medicare beneficiaries continue to have access to health care services. this is not some right-wing republican. this is the medicare actuary and we're not even talking about it. we have heard nothing from the president about how we preserve this great program other than we just keep doing what we're doing. that's not a fair and honest assessment of where we stand today. the sooner we deal with this, the sooner we deal with it the more likely we ought to come to a less painful solution to this. i do want to finish by saying i appreciate the hour, mr. speaker, you've shown this and we will continue this very, very important discussion on
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medicare in the future. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. ellison: thank you, mr. speaker. my name is keith ellison, and we got to get our act together a little bit in term of our posters but we'll start momentarily. -- in terms of our posters but we'll start momentarily. mr. speaker, my name is congressman keith ellison, and i would like to just open up by talking about the progressive message. the progressive message is the message articulated by the progressive caucus, and the progressive caucus is that
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organization within this body, within this congress that is here to unapologetically say all americans should have the right to go to the doctor and get basic health care in this richest country in the history of the world. all americans should have equal rights to be treated fairly based on whatever color, what their sexual preference might be, whatever nation they might be from. we say let's have comprehensive immigration reform with a path towards citizenship and let's absolutely pass the dream act. the progressive caucus is that caucus that unapologetically says social security, medicare, medicaid are great programs and we need to protect them, not only for today's seniors but for tomorrow's seniors too. i'd like to start out, mr. speaker, by talking a little bit as i talk about the progressive message starting out with my -- just a few observations about the state of
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the union speech. i personally thought the state of the union speech was awesome. i thought president obama was great, and i was really proud of president obama as he delivered that state of the union speech in this very chamber. this chamber was full of dignitaries from all over the world, ambassadors, senators, u.s. supreme court. in front of all of them and in front of the american people, president obama specifically identified 24 americans who joined members of congress as their guests, and these folks who president obama identified were victims of gun violence. i was so proud to see president obama specifically give these folks encouragement to keep on speaking out, continue to tell their story so we can arrive at a place where the u.s. congress will be on their side to bring forth sensible, sane gun violence prevention.
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you know, president obama's wife, our first lady, michelle obama, had seated next to ms. herseth sandlin: own guest, -- to her her own guest, she was shot down in chicago but only a few weeks before she had been performing for her country at the president's inauguration. and so whether it was ordinary members of congress who just brought different people or it was the president or the first lady, the people who can speak most eloquently about the need for sane, sensible gun violence reform were here, mr. speaker, were here and were present in this gallery so that they could be at a witness and presence on the need. and what did president obama say? he said, give us a vote. he said, give us a vote. . i say to the republican house majority, why are you
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afraid? let's have a vote. let's count who is for sensible gun violence prevention and who is not. who is for closing loopholes that allow people to escape background checks and make sure that anybody who gets a firearm, an instrument that is dangerous by any account, at least we know that this person is sane and legally qualified to have one. let's have a vote. i don't think that anyone should be afraid of the vote because if you are proud to say no, we don't want background checks, stand up and say that. and be on the n.r.a. side. but if you believe we need to make sure guns stay out of the wrong hands, that's a vote we should have and the president made that point clear. the president was right in saying give us a vote when it comes to things like
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high-capacity magazines. these high-capacity mag zeens don't have any place on our streets, let them defend them right here on the floor if they they have the audacity to do so and let us talk about millions of americans over the course of years who have been tragically injured and hurt with bad gun policy and let's talk about the victims in aurora who was shot by a high-capacity clip and let us talk about people who were victims in milwaukee who were victims. let us give the message about the folks who were shut down in tucson with someone with a high-capacity clip. the president said give us a vote and i agree 100%. we need a vote on these sensible gun reforms.
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but i'm going to leave this topic now, but i do want to make mention of my own guest. a young man, sammy, 17 years old, brilliant young man and a regular teenager and he happened to be on a bus going to madison, wisconsin, when he saw a message come across his phone, which said that there had been a shooting in what he knew was his neighborhood. he texted back to his father and said, dad, be careful, supposedly there was a shooting in the neighborhood. the text never came back because one of the victims of that shooting was his dad. he came to the united states in search of the american dream. but he died in a nightmare, because a person mentally
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unsound and unstable, easy access to the most dangerous weapons, came to a work site and shot down five people, including a wonderful constituent of mine. because of his son carrying on the legacy, he will never be forgotten because sammy is telling the story about how much we need sane, sensible gun violence prevention measures. the state of the union speech was awesome for another reason and that is the fact he went to the heart of what i believe its the defining issue of our time and income and wealth aquality in our country. in our country, this is the land of opportunity. and we know some people are rich, some people are in the middle and some people are poor. and we believe we are a country that can provide a ladder up for
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anybody who wants to work hard and for those people who are too sick to work, too young to work, too aged to work, we believe in the social safety net to take care of them. we believe in income and economic mobility in america and yet the president put his finger right on it when he talked about how we've seen people making $14,000 a year working full-time, but because they pay so little, they are still in poverty. i was so proud the president made this point. it's a point that needs to be made. there are people working in restaurants, people who are cleaning, people in our hospitals, people who are doing the really tough jobs. i'm talking about the jobs where -- you have to take a schauer after you get off work, not take a shower going to work, you have to take one when you are done
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with your day's work. maybe you have been cleaning up things, maybe you have been lifting people, doing the hard work and many of these folks scraping by on really low wages and the president clearly has a heart for these folks and wants to see them come up. and i was able to see the president do that. mr. speaker, you should know that over the past 30 years, income for the average american has stayed flat, while the richest 1% of americans have seen their income more than triple. mr. speaker, this does not happen by accident. it has been a set of policies put in place through the tax code, through trade policy, through loss of manufacturing and a number of things, but there's been a number of policies that have gotten us to this place and there is one philosophy and the philosophy is
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this, if we give money to the richest americans, maybe they will take their excess wealth and put that into plant and equipment and hire people. and this is known as supply-side economics. we don't want to have any regulations on them. they can do what they want with the water and air, they are against regulations and we don't want to tax them enough to pay for our roads, bridges, our schools, anything like that and they get to keep all this money and it's all under the assumption that they will take this money that they amass and put it into plant and equipment and hire people. this philosophy has been proven to fail and has caused income inquality in -- income inequality in america and the president has said we have to do more for the poor and middle class in america. i was happy to see him do that.
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the president hasn't said this, but it is true, the wealth of the richest 1% is over 225 times larger than the average household, higher than it's ever been, higher than it's ever been. mr. speaker, we look back at the guilded age and think back that, wasn't it bad way back then? it is worse now. and we have to do something about it and our president knows that and i'm pleased to do that. while the president gave a message of hope and understanding to the working and middle class of our country, mr. marco rubio, when he drank a glass of water in the middle of his speech, he just articulated the same old thing, more money for the rich, less for everybody else. mr. speaker, we cannot continue
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to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, while cutting on investments that the middle class relies on and cutting programs that help local governments, keep on police, keep on teachers, people who fix our roads, firefighters. we cannot cut the federal work force and i'll talk about sequester in a little while. we cannot make these economic decisions and hope to have a strong economy. we've got to invest in our roads, our bridges, our grids, our electrical power grids and transit to move people around quickly. we have to make these investments. we have to invest in research and invest in our schools and this is what is going to make america a strong country and put people to work and more people paying taxes and that will help us lower the deficit. the republicans have it all wrong. they think by slashing the
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federal government, then that will make our economy better. all it's going to do is create a situation where you have more people out of work, less people paying taxes, less people putting into the tax revenue and the deficit will go up. and i'm going to talk about the sequester in a moment. but i want to say as i highlight a few things about the state of the union speech how important i thought the president's remarks were. let me turn for a moment, another thing about the state of the union speech, mr. speaker, on the issue of social security, medicare and medicaid. i want to encourage people to not refer to the programs as entitlements. i don't like doing it right now. what they are is social insurance. you know how insurance works, you pay a premium and when you need it, you can use it. well, you get 6% out of your pay check every week or two weeks or
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a month or however often you get paid. you are paying into social security. you are paying into medicare and medicaid. bottom line, these social insurance programs are not some give-away or welfare. they are important social insurance programs to provide income security for people when they are aged, when they are too ill to work and disabled or when their parents die and they need support. that's what these programs are about. and i'm glad that we are here to talk about how we preserve these programs. the president mentioned it and he said he wanted to strengthen social security, medicare and medicaid for generations to come. i quite agree with this. he said any reforms should come from protecting these programs, not just -- not cutting these programs to finance tax cuts for the wealthy.
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i believe that we shouldn't have any benefit cuts in these programs. we don't need to. there are plenty of places to cut, plenty of loopholes to close and we can get the money elsewhere. i'm glad the president made mention of the program. i also want to mention, mr. speaker, that we should allow -- one of the places we can find savings for social insurance programs is we need to allow medicare part d to negotiate lower drug prices. prescription drug benefit that the republicans negotiated and passed in 2003, this particular program put into law that there could be no negotiation of drug prices and this has made the program more expensive. 1 -- $158 billion would be attainable if we allowed negotiation. the president said we are going to get out of afghanistan.
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this is great. the president announced we would bring 34,000 troops home from afghanistan by this time next year. that's fantastic. my own son is a member of the u.s. military and i'm very proud of that. but i don't want to see him deployed to afghanistan. i want to see him in a place where he can defend this nation as he wants to do and i think it's time for us to go home. the president didn't say we are going to end in afghanistan. we will be there diplomaticically and training their soldiers. it's time for the afghan people to take responsibility for their own security. and you know, i also want to mention and i'll turn to the subject of immigration. i think right now and the president made clear that we may be at a point and i pray that we are, immigration is within the reach of congress to pass,
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comprehensive immigration reform. i'm proud to be joined by congressman jared polis of colorado. i want to yield to you and share your thoughts on immigration. mr. polis: i thank the gentleman from minnesota. it's common sense to most americans -- we have upwards of 10, 12, 14 million people here illegally in this country, many are members of our communities, many of their kids are americans, go to school with their fellow americans, football team, cheerleaders and yet every day our government, through its current policies tears families apart. absolute heartbreaking tragedies where a mother is torn from her american daughter and frequently kicked out of this country and costs the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars all over a broken tail light.

Public Affairs
CSPAN February 14, 2013 1:00pm-5:00pm EST

News News/Business.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 41, Georgia 31, Mr. Woodall 26, Florida 24, America 24, California 12, Tennessee 11, Dr. Harris 9, Colorado 9, U.s. 8, Dr. Gingrey 7, Ms. Jackson Lee 6, United States 6, Washington 6, Maryland 5, Madam 5, Mr. Pascrell 5, Mr. Mcgovern 5, Dr. Roe 4, Afghanistan 4
Network CSPAN
Duration 04:00:01
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 17 (141 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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on 2/14/2013